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CNA Programs in California with School Overviews

California has over 30 schools that offer CNA programs. Get some information about the programs, and see some quick facts for two of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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California CNA Programs

Aspiring certified nursing assistants (CNAs), or those seeking a related career as a home health aide (HHA), can choose from several primarily 2-year colleges across the state of California. Students can earn a certificate or prepare for certification through continuing education programs. Learn about the prerequisites, curricula, field training and certification exam preparation at two California schools. Check out the table for additional school facts.

  • Allan Hancock College is located in Santa Maria and offers a CNA certificate program, in addition to a certificate in home health aide assisting.
  • American River College, in Sacramento, has both CNA and home health aide certificate programs available.

Comparison of Schools

Although students may find many similarities in the programs above, differences between the schools might help in the decision-making process. The table below can answer some questions about student population numbers, tuition charges and graduation rates.

Allan Hancock College American River College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 11,739* 31,858*
Campus Setting Midsize city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $1,352 (in-state)*
$6,784 (out-of-state)*
$1,104 (in-state)*
$8,208 (out-of-state)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 84%* 73%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A (open admissions)* N/A (open admissions)*
Retention Rate (2016) 76% full-time students, 50% part-time students* 70% full-time students, 50% part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for students who began in Fall 2014) 31% (4% transfer-out rate)* 28% (7% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Allan Hancock College

Located in Santa Maria, California, Allan Hancock College offers a certified nursing assistant (CNA) certificate program. CNA program graduates may enroll in continuing education courses for certification as home health aides or restorative aides.

CNA Certificate

Students must fulfill Allan Hancock College's pre-admission requirements for enrollment in the certified nursing assistant certificate program. These include a physical examination, substance abuse test, academic prerequisites, background check and CPR certification. CNA students earn 12 credits, exploring topics like geriatric care and psychological management. Graduates of the program receive a certificate of completion and become CNAs by taking the California State Board examination.

Continuing Education Program

Registered CNAs can receive certification as home health aides through Allan Hancock College's continuing education program. HHA students are certified after two units of studying topics like pharmaceutical assistance and food preparation. HHA graduates provide home-based medical care for elderly and disabled patients.

American River College

Located in Northern California, in Sacramento, American River College (ARC) offers a CNA certificate program as well as an HHA certificate program. Some graduates pursue further certification as registered nurses (RNs) or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), while others accept entry-level CNA positions.

CNA Certificate

CNA students at ARC learn skills like catastrophe management, vital sign measurement and advanced elderly care. Prerequisites for program enrollment include orientation session attendance, physical examination, general education courses in reading and writing, electronic fingerprint submission and a TB test. Graduates of American River College's CNA program receive a certificate of completion and are eligible to take the California State Board examination to become licensed CNAs.

Home Health Aide Certificate

Home health aide students explore topics like meal preparation and home-based elderly care. Prerequisites for HHA student admissions are identical to those for CNA students.

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