A great first step towards a career as a nurse is to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA. If you live in or near San Diego, CA, and want to pursue a career as a nurse, you should consider earning your CNA certification. By doing so, you'll be able to quickly enter the field of nursing, as the learning doesn't typically take too long. Learning is crucial, however, and there are plenty of CNA programs in and around San Diego to choose from. It's easy to feel a little overwhelmed while weighing the available options, but the best way to zero in on the ideal option is by familiarizing yourself with popular San Diego CNA programs.
Top 3 San Diego CNA Programs
As eager as you may be to kick-start your career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, it's important to go about it the right way. Earning your certification is a critical first step. To do so, you must pass the state certification exam. To be eligible to sit for it, you must complete an approved CNA program. Fortunately for you, there are quite a few options in the greater San Diego area. By learning about the popular ones, you can more easily find one that suits your financial and scheduling requirements. Three especially good examples of popular San Diego CNA programs include:
- Kaplan College - Kaplan College operates a campus right in downtown San Diego, so if you live in the city, this could be the option for you. The school's Nursing Assistant Certificate of Completion program includes everything that you need to pass the State of California competency exam and to hone your skills as a CNA. This program is approved by the California Department of Health. Upon completing the program, you will receive a Nursing Assistant certification and will be able to sit for the state competency exam. The program is made up of classroom instruction, labs, and clinical experiences at local nursing homes and other facilities. Conveniently, Kaplan offers job assistance as well, so you will be able to hit the ground running as a CNA.
- Kaplan College - Vista Campus - If you live closer to Vista, which is about 30 miles away from downtown San Diego, you'll be happy to know that Kaplan operates a campus there. The campus offers the Nursing Assistant Certificate of Completion Program, which is also approved by the California Department of Health. Much of your time will be spent in the classroom, where you will hear lectures and then put the information that you learn to work in a laboratory setting. Of course, the lab isn't quite the same as the real world. Luckily, this program also includes a clinical portion that involves acquiring real-life experience at local extended care facilities.
- Miracosta College - Located in Miracosta, CA, which is about 30 miles from downtown San Diego, Miracosta College is an affordable and convenient option for aspiring CNAs who still need to complete their program. The school offers a CNA program that has been around since 1987, so it's safe to say that they know a thing or two about preparing CNA hopefuls for the workforce. You can choose from an accelerated eight-week program or six-week program. Both consist of 23 hours of instruction per week during the day. The course is broken up into 79 hours of theory and 105 hours of clinical practice at local nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. The typical cost of the program, including tuition, books, uniform, and other fees, is around $600, which is remarkably affordable. The school boasts a 97 percent pass rate for the written portion of the competency exam and a 92 percent pass rate for the skills portion of the exam. To enroll, you will need your CPR card, and you must have a physical exam as well as drug screening and a criminal background check.
Becoming a CNA in San Diego is easier than you probably think. The first thing to do is to find a CNA program that meets your requirements. Most programs only take a handful of weeks to complete, which means that you could be sitting for the competency exam in just a few months.