CNA Classes San Diego

CNA careers are in high demand and with a median salary of $32, 496 annually* for San Diego nursing assistants, it’s the perfect time to get in. California requires CNA prospects to undergo at least 160 hours of classroom and clinical instruction. Sixty of the 160 hours must be allocated for classroom training where students learn basic nursing skills, patient safety and rights, resident abuse prevention and other vital information. The other 100 hours cover supervised clinical training at a health facility. State-approved programs must teach students how to manage people with developmental or mental disorders such as cerebral palsy, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and mental illness. San Diego is a great place to train as a CNA and begin a rewarding career. Choose from the list of top state-approved schools below.


San Diego Continuing Education

San Diego Continuing Education’s Centre City Campus offers a 394-hour non-credit nursing assistant program. The 12 to 16-week curriculum covers vital signs, nutrition, charting, observation, death and dying, patient rights, emergency procedures, ethics, rehabilitative care, and basic communication. Lecture and practical instruction will also include professionalism and ethics, restoration care, prevention of catastrophe, interpersonal relations, the long term care resident, body mechanics, nutrition, and patients’ independence. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the state nurse exam.

Admission criteria:

  • Must demonstrate a 9th-grade reading proficiency before entry
  • Obtain a negative TB test
  • Complete a medical exam
  • Submit to Live Scan fingerprinting on the first day of class
  • Pass a criminal and background clearance
  • Complete and submit the immunizations form
  • Attend a mandatory orientation session – the orientation will include a math and reading assessment

The certificate program is free for California residents. Persons accepted to the program must assume responsibility for expenses, including books, uniform, shoes, immunizations, TB exam, physical exam, and state certification exam. Students must also make arrangements to get to and from the clinical rotations.

Address: 1400 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 388-4600

California Medical College

The structured nurse assistant curriculum at California Medical College seeks to promote quality of care in long-term facilities, provide entry-level skills to students, and expand the role of CNAs in the healthcare facility. The 170-hour CNA program also includes a 40-hour Home Health Aide training option for students who want to work as home health aides. The entire curriculum meets Federal and State training regulations. Nurse Assistant Theory and Lab provides 51 hours of classroom and 18 hours lab skills training. Nurse Assistant Clinical meets the state requirements with 101 hours of supervised clinical training at Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). Classes meet Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm for theory and lab and from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm for clinical sessions.

Admission criteria:

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Meet with an Admissions Representative
  • Complete a physical exam
  • Submit immunization documents.
  • Pass a background check

The training cost will cover Basic Health Exam with TB test, CPR and First Aid Certification, and Certification Exam Review Days. Also included are a medical kit, two pairs of medicals scrubs, NNAAP Certification Exam, and textbooks.

Address: 7851 Mission Center Court, Suite 326 San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (858) 357-8800
Fax: (619) 296-9200

IHG Career College

Complete nurse assistant training in 22 days with International Health Group’s combined theory and clinical training course. Over 90 percent of the school’s graduates go on to pass the state exam. IHG teaches basic nursing principles and all the guidelines set forth by the state, but they emphasize quality care and impart confidence to all students, so they remain calm in emergencies and stressful situations. Weekdays, evenings, and weekend classes are available.

Admission criteria:

  • Submit a completed application for admission
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Pass a background check and drug screen
  • Provide a copy of state ID and social security card

Tuition includes Live Scan Fingerprint, state exam review course, state exam fee, medical, TB test, CPR certification, textbooks, two sets of uniforms, and state exam kit. The down payment of $300, to reserve a seat, is non-refundable.

Address: 8787 Complex Drive Ste #130 San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: (858) 278-9800
Fax: (858) 278-9818

Fast Track Medical Training Center

The nursing assistant program at Fast Track Medical Training Center seeks to prepare students for the California Nurse Assistant exam and success on the job. Both the classroom and supervised training cover critical nursing procedures such as personal care and grooming, vital signs, transferring patients, reporting, observation, patient rights, communication and other essential topics. The course also covers adult CPR training with accompanying certificate. Both the academic and practical sessions are integral aspects of the course. Therefore, students must maintain perfect attendance in order to graduate.

Admission criteria:

  • Submit a completed application for admission
  • Provide a copy of social security card and state ID or driver’s license
  • Other requirements, such as background check and immunization requirements will be determined by the clinical agency.

Tuition costs $1500.00 and includes CPR Certification, study materials, uniform, and blood pressure machine. A deposit of $500 is required to start the program.

Address: 6160 Mission Gorge Rd. San Diego, CA 92120
Phone: (858) 610-4767

Western Medical Training Center

The 22-day nursing assistant program at the Western Medical Training Center prepares students for an entry-level career as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The curriculum includes 51 hours of classroom lectures, 20 hours of lab practice, and 103 hours of real-world experience in a clinical setting. Course topics will include basic nursing skills, communication, body structure and function, care of the long-term patient, infection control, body mechanics, and restorative care. The class size is limited to 15 students per cycle. Weekday, evening and weekend schedules are available. Weekday classes meet Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm. Evening classes are Monday through Friday from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Weekend sessions are Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Provide a valid photo ID and social security card
  • Complete a physical exam
  • Provide a record of immunization, including TB test and flu shot
  • Pay the registration fee of $100 to reserve a seat in the classroom

Tuition for the program is $1,500 and includes livescan fingerprinting, gait belt, stethoscope, CPR, 2 sets of uniforms, workbook, state exam handbook, skills and training videos, a free RNA class, and an extra review day to prepare for the state certification exam.

Address: 1161 East Main Street #205 El Cajon, CA. 92021
Phone: 619-241-9931

MiraCosta College

MiraCosta College hosts a state-approved nursing assistant program to prepare students for certification in California. The curriculum covers 184 hours of instruction in the classroom and lab, and clinical training in a long-term care facility. Summer sessions are 6 weeks; classes meet 32 hours each week. The program is also offered twice during each spring and fall semester and runs for 8 weeks. Graduates are eligible to take the state certifying exam which the school arranges each semester. The school’s pass rate is 97% on the written exam and 92% on the skills evaluation.

Admission criteria:

  • Must enroll in Nursing 160 as a student of MiraCosta College
  • Complete prerequisite courses – English 50 or ESL 50 or pass an English assessment or equivalent
  • Submit a completed physical exam report
  • Complete a satisfactory TB skin test
  • Provide a valid social security card and state ID
  • Must have valid CPR certification by the first day of class
  • A seasonal flu season is required for participation in the clinical rotation

The average cost of attendance is $600 and includes tuition, books, uniforms, physical exam, TB skin test, state exam, and CPR card.

Address: One Barnard Drive, Bldg, T420 Oceanside, CA 92056
Phone: (760) 757-2121

Healthcare Academy of California

The nursing assistant certificate program at the Healthcare Academy of California will include theory, practical lab, and clinical training to prepare students for success on the state certification exam and employment as an entry-level CNA. The California-state guided curriculum includes training in basic nursing, safety and emergency procedures, measuring vital signs, observation and reporting, range of motion, communication, personal care skills, hospice care, mental health, role and responsibility of a nursing assistant, and laws and ethics. The program is available on day or weekend schedule. The 4-week day program meets Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. Weekend meeting times are Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm for 11 weeks.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be a minimum 16 years of age
  • Provide a valid photo ID and social security card
  • Complete a physical exam

Tuition for the program is $2,197. It includes nursing textbook and workbook, 2 sets of scrubs, Live Scan Fingerprints, state manual, and state exam and registration.

Address: 2420 Vista Way Suite 215, Oceanside CA 92054
Phone: (760) 232-4050

Eastlake Medical College

The CNA program at Eastlake Medical College delivers quality training at an affordable rate. The training prepares students to take the State Certification Exam to be added to the Nurse Aide Registry. It includes instruction in the classroom, lab, and practical experiences at a long-term care facility. Areas of study include medical terminology, infection control, basic nursing skills, the role and responsibility of the nurse aide, body structure and function, range of motion exercises, nutrition and feeding, communication and interpersonal relationships, and patients’ rights. Upon completion of the program requirements, students may apply to take the NNAAP exam at the school’s approved testing site. Eastlake offers small class sizes, flexible schedules, free exam review, job placement assistance, bilingual instructor, and state-approved training. Weekday, evening, and weekend classes are available. The duration of the program is 14 days.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be 16 years or older
  • No high school diploma required
  • A government photo ID and social security card
  • Pay the enrollment fee of $150
  • Complete the physical exam and TB form
  • Attend a mandatory orientation
  • Complete Live Scan fingerprint

Tuition for the program is $1,775. It includes fingerprinting, BLS certification, 2 sets of scrubs, textbook and training guide, and state testing handbooks.

Address: 2572 Waterline Way, Chula Vista, CA 91914
Phone: (619) 591-9358

Pacific Health Education Center

Pacific Health Education Center offers an accelerated nursing assistant training program. Students will obtain knowledge and skills to practice as an entry-level CNA in just 22 days. Experienced instructors will ensure students receive the necessary hands-on experience, theory, and real-world practice to excel in healthcare. Program highlights include basic nursing skills, medical terminology, infection control, long-term patient care, the role and responsibility of the nurse aide, observation and reporting, safety and emergency, and communication.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must have a current state ID or driver’s license and social security card
  • Must be a high school graduate or have a GED
  • Demonstrate English language competency – both reading and writing
  • Submit a current physical exam and TB test result

Tuition for the program is $2,100. It includes registration fee, scrubs, loaner textbook, Live Scan fingerprint, BLS/CPR certification, review classes, and state exam fee.

Address: 10225 Barnes Canyon Rd A208, San Diego, CA 9212
Phone: (858) 658-0362
Alt: (858) 658-0896


As a private, nonprofit career-training school, LearnMore seeks to prepare members of the hard-to-reach and underrepresented population for employment in high-demand sectors. The accelerated nurse assistant training program blends theory and practical instruction to equip students with the skills to work in the healthcare sector. The state-approved curriculum covers 160 clock hours – 60 hours theory and lab and 100 hours of clinical instruction – to prepare candidates for the nurse assistant certification exam. Areas of study will include patient care procedures, observation and charting, body mechanics, nutrition, long-term care, and much more. Two class schedules are available – the 22-day accelerated program and the 44-day accelerated program.

Admission criteria:

  • A valid photo ID and social security card
  • Must be 16 years or older
  • Provide evidence of negative TB skin test or chest x-ray
  • Complete a livescan background check
  • Evidence of completing a COVID-19 vaccine series

Training is free for eligible persons.

Address: 5532 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite 2, San Diego, CA 92115 3642
Phone: 1.833.LEARN.SD (1.833.532.7673)

Other State-Approved CNA training programs in San Diego

San Diego Job Corps Center
1325 Iris Ave. Bldg. 60
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
(619) 429-2314

San Diego Medical College
6780 Miramar Road #204
San Diego, CA 92121
(619) 271-0700

San Ysidro Adult School
4220 Otay Mesa Road
San Diego, CA 92154
(619) 428-7200

Southwestern College
8100 Gigantic Street
San Diego, CA 92154
(619) 482-6352

A Better Solution CNA School
8929 Complex Dr. 2Nd Floor
San Diego, CA 92123
(619) 585-9011

Dalrada Career Insitute
3910 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105
(858) 278-9800

Edutrack LLC
15720 Bernardo Center Drive
San Diego, CA 92127
(858) 672-3900

Infinity CPR
4075 54Th Street Jacob Healthcare
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 856-4346

How Much Does CNA Classes Cost in San Diego?

The average cost of CNA classes in San Diego is $1,500 inclusive of books and supplies. Additional costs for uniform, background check, immunization, and the state exam must be covered by the student. Free CNA training is available at San Diego Continuing Education. You will be eligible for a refund of your training expenses if you are employed by a Medicaid funded long-term care facility within 12 months of completing a nurse aide program.

How Long Does It Take to Become A CNA in San Diego?

Full-time students may complete a CNA program in 4 weeks in San Diego. Evening classes typically cover a duration of 6 weeks.

How Do I Get My CNA License in California?

An applicant for CNA certification must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Must have successfully completed a training program approved by the department in California
  • Must complete the nurse aide exam
  • Must obtain a criminal record clearance
  • Must submit an initial application -CDPH 283B upon enrollment in the training program
  • Must submit a copy of the Request for Live Scan Service form

More details on the CNA Certification Requirements in California

Are CNAs in Demand in California?

High instances of multiple chronic conditions among the senior population calls for more healthcare professionals to provide round-the-clock care and support. The BLS projects a 4 percent increase in demand for nurse aides through 2032. That translates to an additional 58,400 new jobs annually. California is among the top states with an increasing demand for nurse aides and other health care professionals to meet the growing health care needs of the population.

How Much Does a CNA Make in San Diego?

Entry-level CNAs in San Diego earn an average wage of $30,234 annually. CNAs with more experience can earn as much as $54,773.


Crystal G

Crystal is a certified Registered Nurse (RN) with a passion for writing about nursing education. Through her articles, Crystal shares insights and tips to help fellow nurses enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest developments in the field. With a focus on practical advice and relevant topics, Crystal's writing is a valuable resource for nursing professionals seeking to advance their careers.