They are much in demand, but difficult to find. They are Certified Nursing Assistants, and there is a huge need, nation wide. So, to the rescue, Grand Rapids Community College and Holland Home.

The collaboration of the two has created a training lab for a new certified nursing assistant (CNA) program. Holland Home renovated a 1,200-square foot former physician’s office into a training lab at its corporate headquarters, 2100 Raybrook in Southeast Grand Rapids, to be used exclusively for GRCC’s CNA students. The facility contains 4 patient beds and associated workstations along with classroom seating for 16 students. Holland Home paid for the renovation expenses while GRCC provided the equipment for the lab.

Courtesy Clark Communications

In addition to their studies in the new lab, students will gain crucial clinical experience by working with Holland Home and other long-term health care employers’ staff and patients.

This program was created to fill a need in the area's health care through GRCC, and, for Holland Home, this new program and on-site lab is an innovative solution to the nationwide shortage of CNA professionals.

The 112-hour CNA program was created with funding from the U.S. Labor Department's America's Promise grant competition. GRCC won one of only two grants awarded in Michigan in 2016, receiving $6 million.

GRCC can offer the complete CNA program for $300 per student because of the America's Promise grant. Comparable programs charge closer to $1,200.