CNA Training in Portland, Oregon with Certification Information

Nov 08, 2018

Portland Schools for CNA Training

Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in Oregon requires completion of an approved training program and passage of a background check and an examination. The Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) certifies nursing assistants at the CNA 1 and CNA 2 levels. Aspiring CNAs can find several programs in the Portland area, and this article looks at two schools, none more than 25 minutes from downtown, and their programs. It also includes a chart that compares the schools in important aspects such as size and costs, as well as another school option at the bottom of the article.

  • The smaller of the two institutions, Clackamas Community College has three campuses, including the Harmony Community Campus almost 10 miles from the city center. It offers CNA training programs at both levels, as well as a gerontology specialization.
  • Located about 17 miles from downtown Portland in Gresham, Mt. Hood Community College offers CNA 1 and 2 programs through its Business and Industry Workforce Training division.

Comparison of Schools

The following table can help prospective students make a decision on their education by comparing these two schools in important areas.

Clackamas Community College Mt. Hood Community College
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 6,326 8,680
Campus Setting Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $4,614 in-state
$12,399 out-of-state
$5,126 in-state
$10,031 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2017)* 79% 77%
Acceptance Rate N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2017)* 57% for full-time students; 40% for part-time students* 60% for full-time students; 83% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students beginning in 2014)* 21% 26%

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Clackamas Community College

Clackamas Community College is a 2-year public college with an annual student enrollment of more than 6,000. The college offers more than 80 programs, including the CNA 1 and CNA 2 training programs within the Nursing Department.

CNA 1 Training

The 150-hour CNA 1 program, available every term, provides students with classroom learning, laboratory training and supervised clinical work in a long-term care facility. Each class is only open to 20 students, so the learning environment is personalized. Within the 75 hours of didactic coursework, students learn to perform routine nursing tasks, while the clinical practicum allows students to gain hands-on training in a hospital or long-term care facility.

In addition to showing proficiencies in reading and writing, applicants must attend a mandatory orientation, pass a criminal background check, provide immunization records, hold a current CPR for Healthcare Provider card and submit to a drug screening. Upon completion of this 1-semester program, individuals can take the state examination for certification through the OSBN. After obtaining this certification, students can enroll in a CNA 2 training program.

CNA 2 Training

The level 2 training focuses on acute care, preparing students for work in hospitals and long-term care facilities, among other sites. The program features 60 hours of lecture and lab courses, along with 28 clinical hours. Some of the coursework includes how to prevent complications and document the results of client care.

CNA - Gerontology Specialist Certificate

Also offered every term, the CNA Gerontology Specialist program provides training for CNAs looking to work with the elderly. The curriculum encompasses 19 credit hours of classroom lectures combined with a clinical practicum in a hospital setting. Course topics will look at issues in again, how the body ages, death and dying, and how aging affects an individual.

Mt. Hood Community College

Located about 17 miles from downtown Portland, Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) is a 2-year, public school that serves almost 8,000 students annually. The college offers nursing assistant CNA 1 and 2 training programs at the school's Gresham campus through the Business and Industry Workforce Training division.

Nursing Assistant CNA 1

The nursing assistant CNA 1 program is approved by the OSBN and consists of 150 hours of curriculum and hands-on clinical work. The program is offered each term, and prospective students must attend a required orientation session. Prerequisite requirements for entrance into the program include college-level reading skills, passage of a background criminal check, physical strength for heavy lifting and the ability to work in a standing position for long durations. Students must attend an information session prior to enrollment, which can be found every second Thursday of the month.


Mt. Hood also offers a CNA 2 program, which is 84 hours long. Students spend time in the classroom, lab and in clinicals gaining experience. Students will learn how to check blood sugar, run EKGs, and to better interact with patients. Students must already hold CNA 1 certification to enroll.

Other Schools

Portland Community College offers training at both the CNA 1 and 2 levels. However, PCC was not accepting students into its CNA programs for the fall 2018 or winter 2019 terms. The CNA training was planned to return for the summer 2019 term.

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