New funding available for NICC to support healthcare program training at no cost to students

Northeast Iowa Community College has received a new source of funding that will allow students to train for in-demand healthcare careers with no tuition cost.

The new funding through the State of Iowa Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERS II) is creating no-cost tuition training opportunities for students and helping the College and its partners to develop a healthcare employee pipeline in the community. Funding through Opportunity Dubuque is also available to support the training.The GEERS II funding, among other funding sources, will provide financial assistance to students who enroll in one of three short-term certificate programs at NICC; Phlebotomy Technician, Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) and Pharmacy Technician.

Graduates of the programs will help backfill a wave of retirements in the healthcare sector.

“Northeast Iowa Community College is applying this funding to directly address skilled worker shortages in our region’s healthcare workforce. By creating no-cost tuition opportunities for students, we can develop and cultivate the talent pipeline that leads to in-demand employment for clinics, long term care facilities and hospitals. Our goal is to fund as many students as possible between now and June 2022,” said Wendy Mihm-Herold, Ph.D., NICC vice president of business and community solutions.

The Phlebotomy Technician 180-hour certificate program prepares students to collect, transport and process blood and other specimens for laboratory analysis. According to EMSI’s Analyst, Career Coach and Institutional Research data, Phlebotomy Techs are in high demand in the region.CNAs are also in high demand in the long term care industry. According to, by 2030 the population over the age of 85 in Iowa will grow from 78,000 in 2013 to 120,000 in 2030, a 52 percent increase. These individuals will need professional long term care services.

{harmacy Technician program students learn dosage calculations, drug classifications, the “top 200 drugs,” aseptic technique, the handling of sterile products and total parenteral nutrition (TPN), as well as dispensing of prescriptions, inventory control, and billing and reimbursement. Northeast Iowa labor market data indicates 53.5 percent of all Pharmacy Techs work in health and personal care stores, such as local pharmacies, and employers have high demand for skilled technicians.Northeast Iowa Community College is committed to helping fill the critical need for entry-level staff and provide our communities with these essential members of the healthcare team.

Interested students may call (844) 642-2338, ext. 1399, or visit to learn more.

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