Some Jobs Will Always Require a Human Touch.

We live in an era when millions of people are losing their jobs to AI and automation. At the same time, our country is facing a dire shortage of certified nursing assistants to care for a rapidly growing older population.

NextStep provides the solution to both problems — a streamlined, online CNA training and placement program with no upfront costs and guaranteed employment after certification.

Meet Our Founders

Chris Hedrick
Co-Founder & CEO

Before founding NextStep, Hedrick served as CEO of Kepler, an innovative online/offline university program in Rwanda and CEO of Intrepid Learning, a venture capital-backed learning technology and outsourcing company. He previously served as Science and Technology Advisor to the Governor of Washington state. He was also the first employee of the Gates Library Foundation, the precursor organization of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and managed national philanthropic programs for Microsoft.

He has a deep background in public health, leading an Africa-wide malaria prevention program, working as country director for the largest Peace Corps program in the world, and serving on the board of PATH, the global health non-profit. A graduate of Stanford University, Hedrick was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

Charissa Raynor
Co-Founder & Executive Vice President

Charissa is nationally recognized as a thought leader on creating a qualified and sustainable long-term care workforce and addressing the coming care crisis. She has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare policy, research, and practice. Prior to co-founding NextStep, Charissa was the founding Executive Director of an organization that delivered training and healthcare benefits to more than 50,000 long-term care workers annually. She holds a Master’s degree in Health Service Administration and a Bachelor’s degree  in Nursing.

Our Investors

JAZZ Venture Partners invests in companies that extend the boundaries of human performance — improving how we live, learn, work, play and experience the world.

LearnStart, the dedicated seed fund of LearnCapital, invests in innovative learning content, platforms and services engaged in the global transformation of educational engagement, access and effectiveness in formalized schooling and corporate and consumer settings.

Pioneer Square Labs is a Seattle-based startup studio and venture firm that creates, launches and finances technology startups.

Seattle-based SpringRock Ventures focuses on investing in the next cycle of healthcare innovation and funding entrepreneurial teams that are solving important problems in disruptive ways.

SEI Ventures is a testbed for innovations that transform the student experience. They invest in technologies that help students successfully navigate to and through higher education, scale great teaching, and translate educational experiences to the future of work.

Reach Capital supports people and ideas that expand the reach of education — beyond classrooms, to as many people as possible and across divides.

CityLight invests early in impactful companies creating environmental, safety and care, and education solutions where more revenue equals better lives at scale, every time.

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