DMACC announces new nursing scholarship


ANKENY, Iowa — The Des Moines Area Community College is offering free scholarships to 100 students who want to train to be certified nurses aides.

“There is a shortage of direct care workers in hospitals, senior centers and numerous other institutions,” said Dr. Art Brown, Dean of DMACC’s Health and Public Services Department, in a news release. “CNA graduates are urgently needed to fill these job vacancies. As a result, we’re motivated to help solve this problem. Our goal is to refill and energize the pipeline of direct care workers.”

Dr. Natalia Thilges, Director of DMACC’s Nursing program said the pay for direct care workers has been rising and CNA students will start at between $16 and $19 an hour here in Central Iowa. She said on occasion starting pay has been higher and many are receiving sign-on bonuses.

“When I look at our CNA training and also our nursing training, I think of my loved ones, my spouse, or my children, or my grandparents or my parents, and what that care looks like for them,” said Thilges. “If you have high vacancy rates you will see individuals who may be required to work more overtime the longer shifts.”

The school opened the application process on. Wednesday. Already they had 35 applicants in 24 hours time.

“What I love is getting to know them and then working with them, and seeing them learn these things and being able to see their eyes brighten their face light up the first time they hear blood pressure,” said Melanie Muth, the DMACC Nurse Aide Program Coordinator. “We have such a demand right now between nursing facilities and the hospitals and it’s, it’s a partnership you know I was I said before it’s like paying it forward so we’re taking people giving them this opportunity to have a free education and then hoping that they will go out and pay it forward by being that caring compassionate caregiver in a facility or a hospital.”

Nursing is a rewarding career both personally and professionally, said Thilges. “DMACC’s CNA program is a pipeline into this important healthcare field.”

For more information go to the website Nurse Aide Training Program ( or email at

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