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RRC joins fight against COVID-19: New training launched to increase testing capacity in Manitoba

October 14, 2020

Red River College, in partnership with the Province of Manitoba, is proud to announce the creation of a new micro-credential course that will provide essential training to help increase COVID-19 testing capacity for Manitoba Public Health.

“Protecting the health and safety of Manitobans remains our number one priority,” says Premier Brian Pallister. “Our government is committed to expanding our COVID-19 testing capacity to reduce wait times to get a test. This partnership with Red River College will enable us to provide essential training opportunities to highly skilled health-care workers, who can now our efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

The course — which takes as little as five hours to complete — is designed to train a number of health-care workers and students studying for careers in health care to safely conduct a nasal swab to collect samples to test for the virus. It will be offered tuition-free to students through RRC’s School of Continuing Education, and will be a blended delivery model, which will include essential theory offered through online delivery and a hands-on training component.

The course was designed to fit with a ministerial order that comes into effect today, enabling more health-care professionals and students training for careers in health care to perform this function at COVID-19 testing sites, including:

  • students in at least the second year of one of the following regulated health professions:
    • registered nursing
    • licensed practical nursing
    • psychiatric nursing
    • medicine at the University of Manitoba, including medical students and physician assistant students
  • students enrolled in an approved paramedicine or respiratory therapy program
  • people qualified to practice in one of the following regulated health professions in jurisdictions outside Manitoba or Canada (based on the presentation of valid credentials):
    • registered nursing
    • licensed practical nursing
    • psychiatric nursing
    • medicine
  • health-care aides
  • medical laboratory technologists
  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • pharmacists

The micro-credential will provide a direct pathway to employment at a COVID-19 testing site. Anyone who completes this course will be added to a pool of qualified candidates who can support testing sites in Winnipeg and across Manitoba where needed. The College will initially train up to 30 students a week and will add capacity as required.

“We are pleased to offer our expertise to support the fight against COVID-19,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “Red River College is a leading institution in applied learning and health sciences. The development of this new micro-credential is just one example of how we are able to quickly adapt and design programs that support the needs of industry and our community. As the College continues to evolve the ways it delivers education in the face of COVID-19, we are proud to offer this new micro-credential that will prepare our front line and students from a variety of health-care programs to help reduce the spread of the virus.”

Registrations are now open, and the course’s first intake starts Monday, Oct. 19. New intakes will be offered weekly. For more information and to register, visit