Experts say by 2026 the overall employment of nursing assistants across the country will grow by 11 percent.
To help with the high demand, federal funding will soon be available to 3,000 Wisconsin students, helping them become nursing assistants for free.
Sara Skowronski, an instructor at the Gateway Technical College says because of the driving demand for nurses the school is partnering with the state to make a little bit of a difference.
The school is launching the state initiative next week.
"I hope that there are people out there that have wanted to get into caregiving and I hope that this is the thing that gets them into caregiving," said Skowronski.
Along with the aging population causing the need for jobs, an aging workforce plays a role as well. According to the Wisconsin Center for Nursing, nearly 30% of Southeastern Wisconsin nurses are 55 and older, which is predicted to cause a shortage gap by 2035.
"It's going to be a first come, first serve," Skowronski said.
After completion, some students will also have the opportunity to transition to a career at a long-term care facility. If they stay and work in Wisconsin for at least six months, students will receive a $500 bonus.
"It's a great start," Skowronski said.
Gateway Technical College says starting pay for CNA’s range anywhere from $15 to $20 an hour. For more information about class schedules and how you can sign up visit the WisCaregiver Career Program.