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A photo of three Certified Nursing Assistants talking to each other while walking down a hallway of a medical facility


A Key Aid in Care

The huge demand for nurses means that certified nursing assistants are more important now than ever. Students will learn key aspects of the nursing profession before applying for certification. The job of a certified nursing assistant can lead to a rewarding career, but can also be a jumping off point to higher positions in healthcare, like the Vocational Nursing Program at Southwestern College.

Under the supervision of nurses, a certified nursing assistant is key to completing and fulfilling patient needs and care. 

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This program is designed for students interested in a career in nursing and completion of the certified nursing program is highly recommended and has the highest points allotted for entrance into the Associate Degree Nursing, is required for the Vocational Nursing Program, and confers eligibility to take the state certified nursing program certification exam.

Certified nursing assistants are employed by hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and other health care agencies. The course content includes fundamental procedures to meet the basic needs of patients, gathering data about the patients, communicating appropriately and other content required by State regulations for nurse assistant certification.

The lab portion of the course includes skills required for nurse assistant certification such as fundamental procedures to meet basic human needs, gathering data about the patient and communicating appropriately. Information about the health care system and how it functions is also included.

Length of the Program

Currently the program is an 8.5-unit course: CNA 20 (5.5 units of lecture) and CNA 20L (3 units of lab). Four classes are offered throughout the year: January, March, June and August. The first three classes meet a minimum of three eight-hour days per week for nine weeks. In August, the class will meet a minimum of two days per week for the full fall semester. The CNA class is repeatable only once and attendance to all class meeting days is mandatory.

Reading 56 or higher is recommended preparation for this course.

Please note: If a student fails out of ANY nursing program for unsafe clinical practice or a violation of professional, legal, or unethical conduct, that student may be ineligible for admission to any Southwestern College Nursing or Health Occupation Program.

Degrees/Certificates Available

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