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 campus 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. Submit a complete application packet based on the checklist provided. The application packet must include the physical exam and immunization forms filled out by your healthcare provider. Forms and copies of immunization records and/or titer (blood test) results are required for clinical placement in the program.

 Acute Care CNA (ACNA) applications packets can be submitted in person or by U.S. Mail.
If submitting by mail, CNA application packet must be postmarked by the deadline to be considered. 

  • Download and review the Acute Care CNA Checklist & Application (PDF) and Physical Exam/Immunization forms (PDF) for details on all that is needed to apply.
  • Letters of acceptance will be emailed to SWC email accounts after the application deadline and after all applications have been reviewed. Notifications will not be sent to personal email accounts.   

The Acute Care CNA Program accepts 20 students for each class and up to five (5) additional students as alternates (in case potential students from the accepted group are unable to participate). 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). 

Application Periods

Submit your Acute Care CNA Program application packet during the dates listed:

Application Period Program Start
August 5, 2024 – September 18, 2024  Fall 2024 (This class is October – December) 
December 2, 2024 - February 10, 2025 Spring 2025 (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).