CNA Courses in San Diego, CA with Program and School Summaries

Nov 08, 2018

CNA School Options in San Diego

Individuals interested in training to become certified nursing assistants (CNAs) have a few school options in the San Diego area. This article discusses these schools, both of which are less than 45 minutes from downtown and prepare students to take the CNA state certification exam. Also included is a table comparing important school information, such as tuition rates and enrollment numbers.

  • Southwestern College, located 13.6 miles from downtown San Diego in Chula Vista, offers a CNA certificate program as well as an acute-care CNA program.
  • Situated 40.4 miles away from downtown San Diego in Oceanside, MiraCosta College offers CNA and home health aide certificate programs.

Comparison of Schools

The table below compares valuable school information, making it easier for aspiring CNAs to choose the right school.

Southwestern College MiraCosta College
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 18,413 14,617
Campus Setting Large suburb Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $1,338 in-state
$6,602 out-of-state
$1,152 in-state; $6,768 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 80% 61%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* N/A - Open admission N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate for Full-time Students (2017)* 74% N/A
Graduation Rate * 22% (8% transfer rate) for students who began in 2014 31% (18% transfer rate) for students who began in 2011

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Southwestern College

Southwestern College is a 2-year, public school located less than 15 miles from downtown San Diego. The school features business, professional and technical education divisions and also includes a nursing department that administers two programs for aspiring or current certified nursing assistants.

Certificate of Proficiency in Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

This program consists of two courses that total 8.5 credit units and combine laboratory and classroom instruction. The program prepares graduates to work as CNAs in health care agencies, such as skilled nursing facilities and hospitals. Topics include patient communication, information acquisition and fundamental patient care procedures. Students wishing to enter the vocational nursing or nursing associate degree program must first complete all CNA courses. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the state certification examination.

Acute Care CNA Program

Prospective students who have a CNA license as well as CPR certification are eligible to enroll in this program that helps certified nursing assistants expand their knowledge base and prepares them to work in acute-care settings. Coursework includes classroom lectures in addition to onsite clinical practice at a nearby hospital. Only 20 applicants will be accepted, with five additional alternates.

MiraCosta College

MiraCosta College is a 2-year, public school located about 40 miles from San Diego. The college offers prospective students CNA and home health aide certificate training programs at its Oceanside campus.

Certificate of Proficiency in Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

This program equips enrollees with the nursing skills and knowledge necessary to pass the state nurse's aide certification examination and work as CNAs in settings such as patient homes, long-term care facilities and acute-care facilities. During the program, students spend a total of 79 hours in lectures and 105 hours in clinicals. The CNA course covers nursing fundamentals, home nursing, gerontology and nutrition.

Certificate of Proficiency in Home Health Aide

A home health aide certificate is available for licensed CNAs. Students in this 8-week program complete six hours of classwork each week. This program is only offered in the spring. Graduates are prepared to care for disabled, recovering or elderly patients in home settings or residential care facilities. In addition to basic nursing skills, this program covers household services, food preparation and personal care services.

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