Spring 2017 “Prepare to Care” Classes

“Prepare to Care” Programs in Marshalltown at Iowa Valley Continuing Education, click here for more information.

Brush up on your Oral Skills! Click here to view the 2017 Mouth Care Matters Spring Schedule for Direct Care Professionals.


BridgetteMore Graduate From Prepare to Care Core Making Them Now Eligible to Enroll in Mouth Care Matters!

Class Hosted by Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC – Southridge Center)  CONGRATS TO ALL!!!


Bridgette“Prepare to Care” Programs in Marshalltown at Iowa Valley Continuing Education

Click here for more information.

Congrats to Iowa Valley Community College Students – Marshalltown For Completing “Prepare to Care” Core on April 3rd and 4th:  

NEXT UP  Mouth Care Matters on May 16, 2017 from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Pictured L to R:  Front - Wanda, Jess, Jenessa
Back - Misty, Sharon, Miekka, Matalie, Audra 


A State-recognized Competency-based Training Designed For Those Who Work In Direct Care/Service

Note:  “Direct Care Professional” (DCP) is often used in the “Prepare to Care” and other materials on this website.  Direct Care Professional and Direct Care Worker are used interchangeably.  Those who fall under those titles include Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Homemaker/Home Health Aides, Hospice Aides, Direct Support Professionals, Dietary or Nutrition Aides, Rehabilitation Aides, Medication Aides, and many other titles. (scroll down)

What is “Prepare to Care?”

Prepare to Care is a state-recognized competency-based curriculum that is designed especially for the direct care/service professions. The only thing required before taking any of the modules or specialties is the 6-hour Core training which is free online or can be taken face-to-face when classes are available at community colleges. Watch this website for upcoming face-to-face classes.

The Prepare to Care curriculum is not a single path to credentialing.  Other trainings that meet the state approved competencies may be approved.

General information about “Prepare to Care”
About “Prepare to Care” for Direct Care Professionals
About “Prepare to Care” for employers

BridgetteDirect Care Professional and Iowa CareGivers Representatives Complete Prepare to Care Core Instructor Training

It was a tremendous honor to attend the Prepare to Care Core instructor training at  Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) recently. I count it a distinct honor to be among the first Direct Care Professionals welcomed to teach Direct Care Professionals. It will be an honor to put this information to use with my peers and (my hope) with family care givers within the community. Thank  you to Iowa CareGivers for leading the way towards elevating the image of care givers in Iowa through education and advocacy – Leslie Hayenga Adams

We are pleased that Leslie Hayenga Adams, Iowa CareGivers Leadership Council member;  Kim Downs, Iowa CareGivers Board Advisor; and Carol Van Aernam, Dental Hygienist, Mouth Care Matters Instructor, and Iowa CareGivers Consultant, recently completed the Prepare to Care Instructor Training.

Please contact MaryAnn Young, Iowa CareGivers at  as soon as possible if you would like to see a Prepare to Care Core class in your area.

To learn more about Prepare to Care:


Prepare to Care Built Into First of Its Kind Registered Apprenticeship Program at Ottumwa Job Corps

BridgetteBack row (L to R): Jatinder Kauer (Career Development Director at Ottumwa Job Corps), Robin (RN, RBSN, Career and Technical Training for P2C and CNA), James Wightman (Department of Labor), Greer Sisson (Iowa State Director of US DOL Apprenticeship Program), Davon Glover (Career Development Manager at Ottumwa Job Corps). Front row: Mark Douglas (Center Director Ottumwa Job Corps)

To Learn More Contact Robin Carmichael



“Prepare to Care” Modules Meet Current Federal Requirements for Home Health Aide and Hospice Aide Training  

Click here to read statement by Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (IDIA).    

New DIA Ruling Sees Rise In Interest In Prepare to Care By Home Care and Hospice Providers at Iowa Alliance on Home Care Conference

BridgettePalmer Home Health and Palmer Lutheran Health Center network with Jeff Weinstock, Iowa CareGivers (IC) Leadership Council About IC Programs and Prepare to Care

Pictured L to R: Joann Svendsen, Director,  Palmer Lutheran Health Center, Jennifer Becker, RN, Palmer Home Health Agency, and Jeff Weinstock

Click here for more photos

Who can Take “Prepare to Care?”

  • Those already working in direct care or service positions in the homes of individuals served community-based settings, nursing homes, assisted living, adult day services, hospitals, hospices, and other locations.
  • Those interested in returning to the field of direct care.
  • Those exploring a career in the health or long term care and service fields.
  • Family caregivers.

Prepare to Care
“CORE” is Key! It is only 6-hours and can be taken online at one's own pace OR at a face-to-face class offered by a community college. Watch this site for upcoming classes. The benefits to taking core include:

  • Review for those who have been in the field for a number of years.
  • Introduction to the profession for those interested in the field.
  • State-issued certificate.
  • Permanent record of certifications that follow individuals from one work place to another.
  • Eligibility to take the first specialty in the area of oral health, known as Mouth Care Matters, and future specialties that will be developed in a variety of areas including mental health, dementia care, autism, and much more. To learn more about the Mouth Care Matters’ oral health care specialty, please call Pam Biklen at 515-729-9729 or  or Mary Ann Young at 515-360-7003 or

To learn more about Prepare to Care visit If you are interested in the online Core training you can learn more and register at


What type of training does the “Prepare to Care” Curriculum include?

“Each module of the “Prepare to Care” curriculum provides the Direct Care Professional with knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to develop a specific skill set that can be used to improve the quality of care that you provide in any type of setting.  After completing the Core module, you are able to make choices on the skills you want to develop that will help to enhance your career development.”— Dr. Anita Stineman, University of Iowa, College of Nursing

Click here to view a complete listing of Career Pathways, Course Descriptions, and Specialties or visit the Prepare to Care website.


Is There a Cost to Taking the Prepare to Care Training?

  • No cost for online core.
  • No cost for some classes offered through Iowa CareGivers currently being supported through state and private foundation funding.
  • Other community colleges may charge a modest fee for Prepare to Care Core and other modules.

What “Prepare to Care” Means for Direct Care Professionals

Over time and with your support, “Prepare to Care” will offer the following benefits:

  • More standardized training
  • Training that will follow you wherever you go
  • Personal ownership of your training credentials
  • Continuing education standards that are directly linked to your certification or specialties in the future
  • Opportunities to specialize in different areas like dementia, oral health care, mental health, or autism


If you wish to change the face of Direct Care and be a positive role-model for the Profession, 'Prepare to Care' will allow you to Challenge yourself and increase your Knowledge. Remember, a well-educated Direct Care Worker makes for a Great Direct Care Professional. The road to a brighter future is in reach.  'Prepare to Care'.— Anthony Wells, CNA, CHPNA  (Anthony served as one of the first Co-Chairs of the State’s Direct Care Worker Task Force)

BridgetteI’ve been a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for 21 years but there was so much knowledge I gained about Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) that I didn’t know.  I took the “Prepare to Care” class online.  I would recommend “Prepare to Care” to any Direct Care/Support Professional.” –Brigett DeVos


Visit Often to Help Us Congratulate the Success of Those Who Complete the Trainings

BridgetteAmes Prepare to Care Core Class Includes Iowa CareGivers Leadership Council Members


(Pictured L to R: Laura Stein and Tracy Hoveland, Iowa CareGivers Leadership Council, Pictured with Kim Hanson, Instructor.)

Click here to view more photos. 

BridgetteFive Home Care Aides at Grinnell Regional Home Care Acknowledged For Completion of Prepare to Care Core Training!


Click here to view the press release. 

(Pictured L to R: Rebecca Crady, Danette Johnson, Deb Morton and Nancy Klein. Not shown Steffanie Crady.)

BridgettePrepare to Care Core Class at Kirkwood Community College


Students Practice Skills of Profession
Click here to view the photo gallery.

Bridgette “Core” Class at Hawkeye Community College!!!


(Pictured) Waterloo Core training

BridgetteCongrats to First Prepare to Care Core Class Graduates at Southeastern Community College


(Pictured) 3 Core Graduates with Instructor 2nd From Right

BridgettePrepare to Care Launched in Northeast Iowa

CNAs, Home Care, and Hospice Aides from Winneshiek Medical Center & Palmer Lutheran Health Center in West Union, Graduate from the First Prepare to Care “Core” Class in the Area. 

Amy Manning, RN, NICC, Taught the Class. 

Congrats to ALL!!!!

BridgetteHome Care Aides at Jasper County Health Department Graduate from Prepare to Care Core Training!  Congratulations!!

Click here to view the press release.

BridgettePrepare to Care Core and Mouth Care Matters Graduates and Supporters Present at Governors Conference on Aging and Disability!

L to R: Dr. Anita Stineman, University of Iowa College of Nursing;  Susan R. Hyland, RDH, BSDH, Iowa Dental Hygienists' Association and Mouth Care Matters Instructor; and Rhonda Bowles, & Mary Jude Lyon, Home Care Aides, Graduates; and Rhonda Shoafstall, R.N., all of Dallas County Public Health.