Start Your Health Care Career Here

The lower level at Cook County Higher Education is comprised almost entirely of a large classroom supporting health care education. The “Mark Abrahamson” room houses three hospital beds, CPR dummies, a hand-washing center, and other equipment necessary for teaching the most popular medical courses. We offer on site instruction in a variety of courses including Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aid, Trained Medication Administration, CPR, First Aid, and mentoring for taking the Nursing Assistant Test Out Exam.

Find Cook County job listings
Job Opportunities & Industry Trends
Become an Emergency Medical Technician
Become a Nursing Assistant Today

Mark (Medical Class Instructor) has not only taught us all the basics of nursing but he has inspired us all to push past the basics and reach for more.

Previous Medical Student

By giving students the knowledge and opportunities to grow and improve their lives and economic status, by instilling the ethic of care, and by providing great care and treatment to patients, Mark’s influence makes Cook County a better place.

Medical Student

Mark (Medical Class Instructor) wholeheartedly throws himself into teaching new nurses and nursing assistants. His passion for caring for people and compassion for people makes Cook County a better place, by giving students the knowledge and opportunities to grow and better their lives and economic status, by instilling the ethic of care into those students, and for all the patients receiving great care and treatment from all the people Mark influenced. I am personally very grateful to Mark for taking time out of his busy life to work with me on my skills test-outs for the Itasca Practical Nursing program. I appreciate it more than words can express.

Previous Medical Student

CCHE Grads Have Job Opportunities

CCHE participants learn locally and get jobs locally.

In 2018, North Shore Health employed the following CCHE participants:

  • 44 Nursing Assistant Registry workers (NARs)
  • 10 Trained Medication Assistants (TMAs – all of these are also NARs)
  • 5 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs – all of whom were also NARs)
  • 8 Registered Nurses (RNs – 2 who were NAR and LPN, 3 who were also NARs)

According to the MN Dept of Employment and Economic Development [DEED], in 2016 the 7-county Northeast Minnesota region was home to 895 health care and social assistance establishments providing 33,659 jobs. The industry accounted for 23.8 percent of total employment in the region, making it easily the largest in the region, well ahead of retail trade (17,550 jobs) and accommodation and food services (14,843 jobs).

The need for health care jobs in on the rise. In fact, the 2,155 job vacancies reported by northeast MN health care and social assistance employers in the fourth quarter of 2016 was the highest number ever posted. See details of the Health Care Job Market.

Industry Trends

Despite economic fluctuations in the region across other industries, health care and social assistance providers in Northeast Minnesota continually added jobs over the past 16 years. Health care and social assistance accounted for 16.9 percent of total jobs in 2000, but after gaining just over 10,000 jobs from 2000 to 2016, the industry now comprises 23.8 percent of total employment, the highest share it has ever provided. While the number of jobs across the total of all industries has expanded 1.2 percent from 2000 to 2016, the health care and social assistance industry has jumped 42.5 percent (see Figure 1).

medical jobs trends ne mn

Emergency Medical Technician [EMT] Training and Certification

You must obtain a State of Minnesota EMT certification in order to legally practice as an EMT.

Certification Criteria

  • 18 years old or older
  • High School diploma or a GED
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proof of immunizations
  • Current CPR Healthcare Provider certification (which can be completed at CCHE)
  • Complete an Emergency Medical Technician Basic course
  • Pass the written and practical state examinations for EMT
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Register with the State of Minnesota


North Shore Health Ambulance Department has EMT/Labor Pool Positions available.  The starting wage is $17.92 per hour.  Under certain circumstances, North Shore Health will reimburse students for the cost of taking the EMT course. Please contact them for details at:

Nursing Assistant [NA] Training and Certification

The Minnesota Department of Health maintains the Nursing Assistant Registry, which lists the names of individuals who have completed an approved nursing assistant training and testing program and meet state and federal requirements to work in nursing homes and certified boarding care homes.

Certification Criteria

  • Minimum age of 16 and currently enrolled in high school, high school graduate, or holding a GED
  • Pass background check (with fingerprinting)
  • Proof of a negative TB test (from within 6 months)
  • Proof of immunizations

OnTrack Nursing Assistant Class

Option 1: Cook County OnTrack Nursing Assistant Class
Offered at CCHE in conjunction with Mesabi Range College and North Shore Health. Interested in participating?
Contact Jon Moe at: or
CCHE Student Support Coordinator at

  • 35 hours of self-paced education via online training
  • 24 hours of hands-on training in a Skills Lab
  • 16 hours of Clinical Experience

Option 2: Nursing Assistant Course Through St. Scholastica
Sign up anytime (rolling enrollment)! Online and 4 in-person skills/clinical labs – Complete your Nursing Assistant training in as little as six weeks.

  • 44 hours of theory online: schedule on your own time/completed asynchronously – Needs to be completed prior to in person skills & clinical
  • 34 hours in person in Duluth or St. Cloud, two 8-hour days and two 9-hour days. Dates offered each month.

NA Testing Exam

NA Class and Test Reimbursable Expenses

Nursing Assistant Training & Paid Nursing Assistant Position

Once on the Employment Opportunities page, scroll down to see the “NA Student CC” position.

How to Stay on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry
Nursing assistants must report their nursing assistant employment. You must perform independently at least eight (8) hours of paid nursing assistant duties every 24 months to stay on the Registry. (A 24 month lapse of employment will result in expired Registry status.) Tasks must be similar to those performed in a nursing home. Orientation and training will not be accepted.