Whether you ultimately want to become a registered nurse or just want to test the waters, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, is a great way to go. If you live in San Francisco, you have access to a wide array of CNA programs. Completing such a program is the first step in becoming a CNA, and your success in completing it sets the stage for the rest of your career. Therefore, it's crucial to choose a program that suits your needs, including your scheduling and financial requirements. Luckily for you, there's a decent array of such programs in San Francisco and the Bay Area. A fast way to find the right one is by familiarizing yourself with popular programs in the area.
Top 3 San Francisco CNA Programs
Because there are quite a few CNA programs in and around San Francisco, it's fairly easy to find one that's starting whenever you're ready to go. Many programs are offered every season of the year, and some offer evening and daytime options. Online classes are included in some programs, but you will have to do hands-on, or clinical, learning at local nursing facilities to graduate. That's because the certification exam includes a skills portion, so it's crucial to have experience in that department before sitting for your exam. By the time you complete your program, you should have no trouble passing the exam and obtaining your license. Look into the following popular programs to more easily find one that works for you:
- Carrington College - Located in Pleasant Hill, which is about 23 miles from downtown San Francisco, Carrington College is a popular option for those who want to become CNAs. Whether you're planning to work as a CNA throughout your career or would want to move up to become an RN eventually, the Medical Assisting Program here is a great way to get the ball rolling. The program consists of three phases: administrative, clerical, and externship. The latter is the clinical practice portion and completed at nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities in the area. Like most programs of this kind, you must pass a drug test and a criminal background check to enroll.
- Mt. Diablo Adult Education - This school, which is located about 25 miles from San Francisco in Concord, CA, offers a popular and affordable program for aspiring CNAs. Its CNA/Home Health Aide program is designed to prepare students to take and pass the state certification exam. The program runs eight weeks in length, so you will be ready to sit for the exam within a few months of enrolling. Tuition costs $780, and that total includes the price of your books, uniform, and other fees. You will receive classroom instruction, including lectures, and complete labs at the school. There's also a clinical practice portion that takes place at nearby nursing homes and other facilities.
- Santa Rosa Junior College - If you live relatively close to Petaluma, which is about 35 miles from downtown San Francisco, make sure to take a look at this school. Santa Rosa Junior College offers an affordable CNA Certification Program that runs about 10 weeks in length. During the more than 260 hours of learning that you will receive, you will attend lectures, complete labs, and participate in clinical practice at local skilled nursing facilities. All of these components are designed to help you take and pass the certification exam, which includes a written portion and a skills portion in which you must demonstrate proficiency with certain skills. To enroll, you must take and pass a drug test and undergo a criminal background check because you will be working with actual patients. You must also have your high school diploma or GED.
Becoming a CNA in San Francisco may seem like a daunting proposition, but a tricky part is probably finding the right program. Luckily, the area boasts a wide array of excellent CNA programs, so it's not too difficult to find one that meets your requirements. After enrolling, it will be just a few weeks before you graduate and are ready to sit for your certification exam. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll become a licensed CNA, so find the right program today.