Lynden Healthcare Education free CNA training classes

Free and low cost nursing training programs in Whatcom County offer CNA certifications to help Washington state nursing shortage

Free and low cost nursing training programs in Whatcom County offer CNA certifications to help Washington state nursing shortage

Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

As Whatcom County faces a nursing shortage, a local nonprofit is working to train new certified nursing assistants by offering easily accessible and affordable certification programs.

Lynden Healthcare Education, a workforce development training program, was started in 2023 and “aims to fill a significant workforce gap in Whatcom County” by offering free or low-cost nursing certification programs, according to a news release from the nonprofit.

“According to a recent search on, the leading job site globally, over 135 local job vacancies for nursing assistants were found. Data from the Washington State Employment Security Department also projects continued job growth through 2030 for nursing assistants. The need is great, and demand for nursing assistants is very high,” the news release stated.

The nursing shortage is estimated to last through 2030, according to a March 2023 report from the Washington Center for Nursing.

Students in the Lynden CNA training program learn the critical skills required for nursing in Washington state including personal care, infection control, basic restorative services, mental health and social service needs, care of cognitively impaired residents, safety and emergency procedures, respect for resident rights and promotion of independence and rules and regulations, according to the news release.

The program’s instructor, Dianne Anderson, has been a nursing assistant instructor at Whatcom Community College since 2009. Anderson is certified by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, works as an infection preventionist and also taught CNA classes at Christian Health Care Center from 2016-22, before the program’s expansion and transition to become Lynden Healthcare Education.

“Lynden Healthcare Education’s CNA training program has been structured to ensure the best possible result for students. As a CNA instructor, I share industry knowledge and help students learn new skills. I am here to guide students through the training program and to help them succeed during the test and throughout their new careers,” Anderson wrote in the news release.

As a major aim of the CNA training program is to benefit the Christian Health Care Center in order to train new nursing assistants, the school is open to all students, whether or not they decide to work at the Christian Health Care Center, according to the news release. The Christian Health Care Center also offers paid working positions to students during their schooling.

Lynden Healthcare Education is currently focused on training certified nursing assistants, although the school plans to offer other role training in the future.

Former students have gone on to work in other care centers, Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center, as at-home care assistants, or CHCC.

For those interested in the program, applications and more information are available online.

This story was originally published July 19, 2023, 1:44 PM.

Follow more of our reporting on Instagram on The Bellingham Herald

See all stories

Profile Image of Alyse Smith

Alyse Smith is a reporter at The Bellingham Herald covering retail, restaurants, jobs and business. If you like stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a subscription to our newspaper.