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Nursing & Health Occupation Programs

Update related to CoVid-19 vaccine: As of September 30, 2021, 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.

  • Associate Degree Nursing (ADN): a two-year program preparing students to work at the associate degree level in settings including (but not limited to) hospitals, community agencies, and home health. Currently licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) may apply for advance placement in the program through the LVN to RN Step-up Program
  • Vocational Nursing (VN): a one-year (three semester) program preparing students to work in the community as vocational nurses
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): an eight- or sixteen-week program (depending on the semester) which qualifies students to take the State of California CNA certification examination. CNA’s work primarily in long-term and sub-acute health care setting and practice under the direction of a licensed nurse. The Acute Care CNA program is an additional eight-week class preparing students to work in acute hospital settings.
  • Surgical Technology (ST): a one-year program preparing students to work in surgical rooms in hospitals and surgical centers. Graduates are qualified for surgical technologist certification through a program nationally accredited by the Accrediting Review Council in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA)
  • Operating Room Nursing (ORN): a one-semester program for currently licensed registered nurses to be certified as operating roon nurses

Nursing & Health Occupation Program Information Sessions

Learn about our programs and how to apply by attending a virtual Information Session via Zoom. Click the link below for details.

Information Session flyer (PDF)

All accepted students for any of the nursing & health occupations programs will be required to complete the American Data Bank background check, urine drug screening and Complio immunizations prior to starting program.


The Southwestern College wishes to announce that it will host a site visit for continuing  accreditation of its Associate Degree Nursing program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

You are invited to meet with the site visit team and share your comments about the program in person at a meeting scheduled at 2:30pm on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 in room 4500, at the Southwestern College Higher Education Center- Otay Mesa located at 8100 Gigantic, St. San Diego, CA 92154.

Written comments are also welcome and should be submitted directly to:

Dr. Marsal Stoll, Chief Executive Officer
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
3390 Peachtree Road Northeast, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326
Or email: mstoll@acenursing.org 

All written comments should be received by the ACEN by September 28, 2021.

Point Loma Nazarene University Partnership

Southwestern College is partnering with Point Loma Nazarene University to launch an extensive, on-site baccalaureate program with the university that offers students four bachelor degrees at the community college campus. Under the partnership, Southwestern College students who are accepted into Point Loma Nazarene University partnership programs can earn bachelor degrees in Nursing, Criminal Justice, Management & Relational Development, and Child & Adolescent Development without having to leave the Chula Vista district. The courses are offered at Southwestern.

Point Loma Nazarene University 4-Year Degree Program information