CNA Certification Classes in California with Certificate Info

Nov 02, 2018

Research certified nursing assistant (CNA) programs in California, a state with over 20 training program possibilities for prospective students. Read overviews of certification programs at two popular California schools to help inform your enrollment decision.

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California CNA Programs

In order to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in California, an individual must complete a training program that includes classes in nursing theories and practices prior to passing a competency examination. Residents of large cities in California, such as San Francisco and Sacramento, could find community colleges in their areas providing these types of studies.

Learn about the programs available at two California schools, including their length, curricula and clinical education requirements as well as their prerequisite requirements. Several helpful facts for each of these schools can also be found in the table at the bottom of this article.

  • American River College is located in suburban Sacramento and offers a certificate program for aspiring CNAs.
  • The City College of San Francisco - Southeast Campus is one of the 11 campuses located throughout the San Francisco area and offers a CNA certificate program.

Comparison of Schools

When choosing a school to pursue a CNA certificate, there are various factors you should consider to determine if the school fits your needs. Read below to get an idea of each school's student population, campus setting, retention rate, graduation rate and annual tuition cost.

American River College City College of San Francisco
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 31,858 26,299
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city
Tuition (2017-2018)* $1,104 (in-state)
$8,208 (out-of-state)
$1,598 (in-state)
$9,010 (out-of-state)
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 73% 59%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* 100% (open admissions) 100% (open admissions)
Retention Rate (2016)* 70% 72%
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (students who began 2014)* 28% 32%

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

American River College

American River College (ARC) is a 2-year public college with a student population of over 31,000. Established in 1955, ARC is part of the Los Rios Community College District. The college offers certificate and associate's degree programs in various areas of study, including a CNA program for individuals interested in nursing.

Nursing Assistant Training

In this 6-unit certificate program, students develop basic nursing skills and learn aspects of patient care, including proper communication, providing daily care, disease and illness symptoms, and charting. Classes are held in lecture and then spent in clinicals to gain hands-on experience.

Those interested in the CNA program must provide a social security card, proof of a TB skin test, flu vaccine and a completed health examination; they must also submit to a background check. An English prerequisite course is also a requirement of the CNA program.

City College of San Francisco

The City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is one of the largest community colleges in the nation. Comprised of 11 campuses, CCSF offers more than 50 academic programs, most of which lead to associate's degrees that can be transferred to 4-year colleges. The college offers an 18-week comprehensive CNA program at the Southeast Campus.

Nursing Assistant Certificate of Accomplishment

This program requires students to participate in both classroom study and supervised clinical courses. Students attending full time can complete the required 3 courses in one semester: acute care, home health aide and convalescent care. They must also take an English placement test.

Prospective students must meet enrollment requirements, including providing proof of a completed physical exam, current CPR certification and current immunizations. They must also submit to fingerprinting and a criminal background check.

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