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NextStep is proud to offer CNA training in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. We'll be launching CNA programs in more states soon!

NextStep's innovative CNA training approach is helping solve the caregiver crisis.

Our Story

NextStep was born out of an awareness of two crises in the United States — a shortage of caregivers to support an expanding older generation and growing under- and unemployment due to structural economic factors and inequitable opportunities. Cofounders Chris Hedrick and Charissa Raynor saw an elegant solution — build a community that supports and trains caregivers and offers long-term care providers access to a reliable network of highly qualified Certified Nursing Assistants.

Two years later, the NextStep community is growing in size and results. We’re solving the staffing shortages of over 75 respected long-term care providers in three states by connecting them with new NextStep-trained CNAs and experienced NextStep Plus+ vetted caregivers. We also upskill our employer partners’ existing staff. Our graduates — nearly half of whom were unemployed prior to participating in the NextStep program — see a 59.43% increase in lifetime earnings on average. 

We know NextStep’s model works, and we’re ready to expand. In the months to come, our focus will be on making a national impact on unemployment and access to care as we grow our community of front-line healthcare workers and employer partners across the country. 

2020 Frontline Health Worker Prize

Village Capital and Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures awarded NextStep the 2020 Startup Showcase Frontline Health Worker Prize for creating the most unique product that is solving a major pain point for frontline health workers and/or the patients they serve.

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Our Leadership Team

Our Investors

NextStep in the News

Chris Hedrick, CEO of Next Step — a tuition-free caregiver training program

Dave Ross of Seattle's Morning News talks with NextStep CEO Chris Hedrick about the caregiver crisis and how NextStep's tuition-free, blended-learning CNA-training approach reaches job seekers left behind by traditional education and recruiting.

Seattle's Morning News

DOH approves NextStep’s digital certified nursing assistant training program

NextStep, a digital health care training company, announced last week that the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has approved its certified nursing assistant (CNA) training program.

State of Reform

Seattle healthcare worker-training startup NextStep raises $2.5M to fund continued growth

NextStep, a Seattle startup which uses its technology platform to retrain displaced workers for roles in the healthcare industry, has raised $2.5 million in new funding.


Keeping skilled nursing facilities fully staffed amid a triple threat

The pandemic has created a perfect storm of challenges, including safely caring for more patients and addressing high long-term unemployment. With thoughtful recruitment and training approaches, these two problems can help solve each other, ensuring that our society’s most vulnerable members are cared for and those unemployed due to the pandemic find a new, rewarding career path.


Reskilling Workers for Frontline Health Care Roles During COVID-19

By partnering with employers, Hedrick says, training providers can help people who would not otherwise be able to afford, or even consider, a career in health care, get started.

Training Industry

Colorado Board of Nursing Approved Program to Offer Free Training and Certification for Nursing Assistants

NextStep, a growing company that helps displaced workers retrain for in-demand healthcare jobs, today announced that it has approval from the Colorado Board of Nursing to provide free, online training and job placement for Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) students, who have been displaced from school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Training Industry

Virtual CNA training helps combat caregiver shortage and unemployment rates

Here in Colorado, billions of dollars have been spent on unemployment, but one business is trying to get people back to work in a field that could use the support.

KOAA News 5

NextStep Raises $3.6M to Train an Industry in Need: Health Support and Caregivers

Education isn’t the only industry to see experimentation en masse with distance learning. Chris Hedrick hopes that his Seattle-based startup turns heads at a time of heightened demand for health care jobs—particularly, certified nursing assistants and caregivers—as the job market turns grim for service and hospitality workers.


Join Our Team!

Interested in working with a dynamic team on a mission to make the world better? We want to talk to you!

Ready to put an end to your CNA staffing shortages?

NextStep Upskill is here to help transform your new and existing employees into fully qualified Nursing Assistants. Our graduates are among the most rigorously trained in the industry — and now your own employees can be, too!
Schedule a demo

Explore the Possibilities of a CNA Career

Learn more about the CNA life and get details about how to enroll in NextStep’s training-to-placement CNA program.

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