Nursing Career Path Widens for Low-Income Minnesotans
Monday, March 13, 2023
Amid workforce issues within health care, the state of Minnesota is poised to soon roll out a nursing recruiting initiative.
In the meantime, some community-action agencies are helping those experiencing poverty enter the field. The offices connect low-income individuals to a variety of resources, including home heating assistance and housing support. At the Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership in Moorhead, job training is on the list, too.
Amy Feland, career connect manager for the partnership, said they work with a local technical college in helping people interested in becoming a certified nursing assistant. Her team serves as the coach, cheering and supporting clients along the way.
"Whether it's supporting [them] through the training, supporting them because they don't have housing or transportation, things like that," Feland explained.
When a client completes training, the office assists with things like resume writing and interview practice.
Meanwhile, the state health department said plans are still coming together for its recruiting effort, which will cover education and career advancement. A 2022 department report found job vacancies have increased in nearly all health professions since the pandemic began.
For her office's part, Feland emphasized follow-through is crucial in guiding clients who sign up for the training. She added they recognize those trying to escape poverty are navigating a variety of forces complicating the process.
"We don't want them to just go through the training and be like, 'OK, I did that.' And then not even getting a job because of A, B or C," Feland noted.
She stressed having success early on can help inspire clients to go back to school in hopes of taking their careers even further. The job training program uses funding from Community Services Block Grants. In Minnesota, the community action agency in Duluth carries out a similar training effort for nursing assistants, even providing participants with free child care.
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