Acute Care CNA

Are you a CNA interested in working in a hospital?

Nursing assistant training focuses on the role of the CNA in a skilled nursing facility. Didactic and clinical components focus primarily on skilled nursing care. The Acute Care CNA course focuses on broadening the CNA’s scope of knowledge and clinical experience to include skills required to work in an acute care setting (hospital). This course covers the pathophysiology, treatment and nursing care of various disorders/diseases. It is helpful if you have already taken classes on these topics – biology, microbiology, medical terminology and anatomy.

An active CNA certification from California is required before applying for this program.
Acute Care CNA is an 8-week class offered each Spring and Fall semester.
The dates to apply are listed below in the Application Period section.

*Class Schedule

• Wednesday: 9am - 3:30pm (CNA-21: 3 UNITS)
• Saturday: 7am - 3:30pm (CNA-21L: 1 UNIT)
          *Schedule may slightly adjust due to COVID and holidays.


• SWC – HEC at Otay Mesa: 8100 Gigantic Street, San Diego, CA 92154
          *Clinical sites vary and are subject to change.
            Students attend classes at HECOM and complete clinical work at hospital facilities. 


The total estimated cost of the program is $500 (subject to change). Fees include textbooks, parking, and enrollment fees. Eligibility for financial aid can help offset the cost.


Enrollment is restricted to students who have applied during the application period and have been accepted into the program by the Nursing Office. The program accepts 20 students and 5 alternates.

Applications will be reviewed in the order received. The first 20 applicants with a complete application packet will be accepted. All applicants will be notified of their status (i.e., accepted; alternate; not accepted) via SWC e-mail accounts after the application period closes, and after all applications have been reviewed.

 Acute Care CNA (ACNA) applications will be submitted in person or by U.S. Mail. (Effective 12-06-22).
Review Acute Care CNA Checklist & Application for details.

Application Periods

Fall 2023: Monday, August 14, 2023 – Friday, September 15, 2023 (This class is October – December)

Spring 2024: TBD  (This class is March – May)

Note: Submitting an application does not guarantee entry into the program.

Application Documents & Instructions

Before filling out the application, review the Acute Care CNA Application Checklist (PDF) to gather all required documents and forms. Click the link below for a copy of the checklist (PDF).

Download, print and fill out the physical exam and immunization forms (pages 1-7). Pages 1-2 are filled out by you. Your healthcare provider/doctor will fill out pages 3-4 (physical exam) and pages 5-7 (immunizations, TB test results, and flu shot form).

Submit the physical exam and immunization forms (pages 1-7) filled out; and a copy of your immunization records and/or titers (lab work) for MMR, Hep B, Varicella, TDAP, COVID-19, flu shot, and TB test results with your Acute Care CNA application packet.

Important note: Give yourself and your doctor/healthcare provider ample time to complete the physical exam/immunization forms. Most of the work in applying for the program involves getting these forms filled out and providing copies of your immunization records and/or titers.

Update related to CoVid-19 vaccine: All major Healthcare Systems in San Diego County require students and faculty to be fully vaccinated for CoVid-19. Applicants to any Nursing and Health Occupations (ADN, VN-Step-up, VN, CNA, Acute Care CNA, Surgical Technology, Central Service Technician, and Operating Room Nurse) programs will be required to submit proof of vaccine status at time of application (Rev. 04-24-23).