Iowa Lakes Responds to High Demand for Certified Nursing Assistants Through Course Offerings Across the District and Challenge Testing

Certified Nursing Assistants trained at Iowa Lakes Community College are in high demand across the region. In addition to the required core, the career-ready program weaves essential skills such as teamwork, effective communication, and problem-solving into the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program’s fabric. Working as a CNA is a rewarding career with many opportunities to grow professionally and fill a valued healthcare role.

“We are excited to be able to offer this valuable course to our communities. These courses fill up quickly, so I encourage interested individuals to contact me right away. When classes fill, we start a list of people interested in the class and schedule new sessions as soon as possible to meet both student interest and industry demand,” explained Dawn Kollasch, Allied Health Programmer at Iowa Lakes.

The course provides the knowledge and skills necessary to function as a CNA in a nursing home, home health care agency, group home, or hospital as required by law.  The program consists of a minimum of 35 classroom hours, 15 lab, and 30 clinical hours allowing for essential skill development and assuring students meet the minimum 75 hours of instructional time per state requirements. Upon completing the course, students will need to take and pass the state test to begin working as a CNA.

This state-approved class meets the requirements for taking the Nursing Assistant certification exam. The pass rate on the exam is 98 percent for individuals who complete the courses through Iowa Lakes. This course is also a pre-requisite for enrollment in the Iowa Lakes Practical Nursing program.

Students may choose to take the class for college credit or as a non-credit career-ready program. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify for the non-credit program. Classes combine online and face-to-face learning.  Clinical experience is completed in a care facility or simulation lab, depending on COVID-19 restrictions at clinical sites. To register, visit, search for “CNA,” and then select the session in your preferred location.

“We also offer state challenge testing every Wednesday by appointment for individuals who already have the knowledge and skills to pass the test without going through the Certified Nursing Assistant course,” said Kollasch.

There are two classes scheduled to begin in March, with the possibility of more.

For more information or to schedule a challenge test, please contact Dawn Kollasch at 712-852-5227 or

For More Information:

Dawn Kollasch, Allied Health Programmer, at 712-852-5227 or