Nonprofit Aims To Fill Nursing Assistant Gap in Whatcom County

Submitted by Lynden Healthcare Education 

As the population ages, the likelihood they will need medical care continues to grow. Thus, the need for nursing assistants — and their value in the workforce and community — is growing as well.

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.

Lynden Healthcare Education, a nonprofit workforce development training program that launched earlier this year in north Whatcom County, aims to meet that need via a free or low-cost certification program.

Current courses focus on training for certified nursing assistants, with additional offerings planned for the future.

While a major aim of the workforce development program is to benefit Christian Health Care Center by training high-quality nursing assistants to work at the Lynden long-term care center, the school is open to all students, whether they plan to work at CHCC or not. Some students go on to work in other care centers, as at-home care assistants or at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, but most program graduates choose to work at CHCC after doing their clinicals in the building.

Nursing assistant students at Lynden Healthcare Education. Front row, left to right: Emily Kilgore, Maria Cazares, Lauren Larrabee. Back row, left to right: Marshal Reed, Emily Anderson, Ashley Ellerd. Photo courtesy Lynden Healthcare Education

About the training

The CNA training program at Lynden Healthcare Education aims to prepare students for a successful career in health care. The program teaches critical skills for nursing assistants in Washington state, including:

  • personal care
  • addressing mental health and social service needs
  • care of cognitively impaired residents
  • basic restorative services
  • respect for resident rights and promotion of independence
  • interpersonal communication
  • infection control
  • adherence to safety and emergency procedures
  • rules and regulation knowledge

About the instructor

Dianne Anderson has been a nursing assistant instructor at Whatcom Community College since 2009. She taught CNA classes at Christian Health Care Center from 2016 to 2022, before the program’s expansion and transition to operating as Lynden Healthcare Education.

Dianne is certified by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and works as an infection preventionist. She also coordinates medication audits for nursing staff and serves as a staff development coordinator in the long-term care industry.

“Lynden Healthcare Education’s CNA training program has been structured to ensure the best possible result for students,” Anderson said. “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.”

How to apply for LHE’s five-week CNA program

Due to the limited space in each class, enrollment can be competitive. Interested parties should submit a short online form at as soon as possible.

For more information about the program, supplies and job placement opportunities, visit

Featured photo courtesy Lynden Healthcare Education

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