In Southern California, certified nurse assistant (CNA) programs are available at several adult education centers and 2-year colleges. Programs often combine lectures with practical training and can range in length from 80-700 clock hours. Courses cover patient rights, personal care assistance, elder care, emergency procedures, medical terminology, nutrition and medical ethics. Existing CNAs can also find continuing education courses. Applicants to a CNA program may need to meet minimum age requirements as well as have tuberculosis immunizations and CPR certification.
In the State of California, CNAs must complete a recognized training program with at least 75 hours of training and undergo a criminal background check. Certification is good for two years, according to state statutes regarding the licensure of health care professionals. The Southern California schools listed below offer CNA training programs that qualify under state rules.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Certified Nurse Assistant Certificates and Courses Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2017-2018)*|
|Bakersfield College||Four-year, primarily associate's, public; large city||Certified Nurse Assistant Course|| $1,325 (in-state)
|Beaumont Adult School||Less than two-year, public; large suburb||Certified Nurse Assistant Course||N/A|
|East San Gabriel Regional Occupational Program||Two-year, public; large suburb||Assistant Pre-Certification/Home Health Aide/Acute Care Course||$4,200 (CNA program cost)**|
|Hacienda La Puente Adult Education||Two-year, public; large suburb||Certified Nurse Assistant Course, Acute Care CNA Course||$1,110 (CNA program cost)**|
|MiraCosta College||Four-year, primarily associate's, public; large suburb||Certified Nurse Assistant Course|| $1,152 in-state
|San Diego Continuing Education||Less than two-year, public; large city||Nurse Assistant Certificate||No tuition fee but approximately $400 for books and supplies**|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **School website
In Bakersfield, students at Bakersfield College can complete a certified nurse assistant (CNA) course to prepare for the Department of Health Services' competency exam. In the program, students examine what care providers do, adult patients' health needs and the health care environment. Students will gain experience at clinical sites off campus. The college suggests that students also take courses in medical terminology and student success strategies.
Beaumont Adult School
The medical arts department at the Beaumont Adult School, based in Beaumont, offers a Certified Nurse Assistant program. Admission to this program is conducted with a lottery. Classes are held Monday, Thursday, and Friday for ten weeks. Students utilize classroom learning and medical clinics to complete theory and clinical instruction. This program will prepare students to complete the California CNA certification.
East San Gabriel Regional Occupational Program
West Covina's East San Gabriel Regional Occupational Program offers a 600-clock-hour course in nursing assistant pre-certification/home health aide/acute care. In this five-days-a-week program, aspiring CNAs learn medical terminology, patient rights, care for patients in acute care and long-term facilities, nutrition and emergency procedures. Throughout the program, students gain clinical experience in various settings. Other required courses include infection control and medical ethics. Graduates will be prepared for state certification.
Hacienda La Puente Adult Education
In La Puente, Hacienda La Puente Adult Education offers a two-phase CNA program. First, students must complete a caregiver certification course with a required orientation. In the caregiver certification course, students learn about patient rights, elder abuse situations and assistance with mobility, bathing and other tasks. When students successfully complete the caregiver course, they move into the CNA program. Graduates of this program are prepared for state certification. The school also offers an acute care CNA program in which students learn to work with patients in emergency rooms, orthopedic and pediatric units, as well as ambulatory situations. The acute care CNA program is 80 clock hours.
Oceanside-based MiraCosta College offers a CNA course. In this program, students learn about the fundamentals of nursing, gerontology and nutrition. Students also learn about the differences between home nursing and nursing in care facilities. Students must have a valid social security card and tuberculosis screening to enter this program. Graduates of this program are prepared for state certification.
San Diego Continuing Education
San Diego's San Diego Continuing Education school offers a Nurse Assistant Certificate for aspiring CNAs. Students complete 250-260 clock hours as they learn to care for others with medical conditions, especially those in care facilities. They study topics like care for the long-term resident, professionalism, body mechanics and nutrition, charting and restorative care. This 12- to 16-week certificate program combines lecture-based courses and hands-on experience and prepares students for the certification.