Dental Assistant

Learning Outcomes

What certification will I receive after completing the program?
The Nursing Assistant program is approved by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and meets all requirements for completers to qualify to take the state certification exam required to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
What will I learn in this program?
The course provides entry-level training leading to State of California certification as a Certified Nurse Assistant. The course provides instruction in basic patient care and clinical experiences in skilled care settings.
Through a combination of classroom and clinical experiences, students will: 
  • Complete 14 modules which will prepare them to take the State of California CNA Certification Test. Modules include: Introduction; Patients’ Right; Interpersonal Skills; Prevention and Management of Catastrophe; Body Mechanics; Medical and Surgical Asepsis; Weights and Measures; Patient Care Skills; Patient Care Procedures; Vital Signs; Nutrition; Emergency Procedures; Long – Term Care Patient ; Rehabilitative Nursing; Observation and Charting; Death and Dying.
  • Identify basic needs of the patient to maintain wellness.
  • Understand and identify verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • List legal and ethical implications in patient care.
  • Report and record all patient contacts in an accurate and timely manner.
  • List tasks specific to a patient’s individual needs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in the principles of patient confidentiality, medical asepsis, and safety.
  • Demonstrate respect, tolerance, and acceptance for individual differences. 
  • Pass the certification exam to become CNAs.
  • Support the diversity and contributions of others.
  • Demonstrate tolerance for differences in opinion and perception.
  • Demonstrate interest in ongoing learning opportunities and seeks resources and opportunities for lifelong learning.


What are the requirements to take this course?
  • Be at least 18 or older
  • Attend a Career Training Orientation - sign up on the How to Get Started page
  • Attend First Class day for the certified nursing assistant program
  • Provide proof of required immunizations (list will be provided on the First Class day)
Please check the program guide to for the most current list of requirements.


When is the program offered?
We offer 4 nursing assistant courses with various schedules each semester. These schedules are subject to change, but in general we offer:
  • Monday - Thursday, 7:00 am - 2:30 pm (2.5 months) - 
  • Monday - Thursday, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm (4 months)
  • Tuesday/Thursday, 7:00 am - 3:30 pm (4 months)
Students will have the opportunity to complete clinical hours in a local care facility as part of the required coursework unless CDPH specifies otherwise based on pandemic conditions.
Please check the program guide to for the most current schedule.


How much does the program cost?
 The program registration fee is $550. We are partnered with LeadingAge CA on The Gateway-In Project through Spring 2024. Students that register with LeadingAge CA and agree to work in long-term care facilities for at least one year after certification will have their registration/supply fee paid and can receive up to $3,000 for support services. More information is available on their website (linked above) and an opportunity to register will be available on the CNA First Class day.
Are there any additional costs associated with the program?
Additional costs are approximately $315 and can also be covered by LeadingAge CA for those that enroll in the Gateway In Project. All students will need to purchase scrubs ($40), textbooks ($150), immunization tracker ($17), Live Scan fingerprints ($53) and complete an American Heart Association (AHA) approved Basic Life Support course ($55). 
Is financial aid or tuition assistance available?
As a K-12 adult school we are unable to offer financial aid. We do partner with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, local career centers, and other organizations like LeadingAge CA whenever possible to find opportunities for fees to be reduced or covered for qualified participants. For more information on what is available for this program, attend the orientation and/or connect with a transition services specialist.
What is the refund policy?
Students have until the last day of the second week of class to request a refund for the registration fee minus a $25 processing fee.
Prices subject to change.  Please check the program guide to for the most current cost.

Job Outlook

What is the job outlook?
According to the California Economic Development Department, employment opportunities for Nursing Assistants are predicted to increase by 15.4% or 15,800 jobs between 2016 and 2026. Explore the links below for more information about the labor market for Nursing Assistants.


Thomas Phillips, LVN
Thomas Phillips has been an instructor for the HOC Nursing Assistant program since 2015.  He holds a Designated Subjects Teaching Credential to teach Career Technical Education courses in California.  Thomas worked in the field as a nurse for over 5 years.
Christine Vinson, LVN
Christine Vinson has been an instructor for the HOC LVN and Nursing Assistant program since 2015.  She holds a Designated Subjects Teaching Credential to teach Career Technical Education courses in California.  Christine worked in the field as a nurse for over 5 years.


Where is training for the program completed?
Skills lab practice for the Nursing Assistant program is performed in one of our two nursing assistant training labs located at the Health Occupations Center in Santee. Each lab has 5-7 patient beds, training manikins, wheelchairs, and all of the equipment required to be trained successfully as a nursing assistant.  As a bonus, the Regional Testing Center conducts state testing to certify nursing assistants use our facility to conduct their testing for HOC and other local training programs.  This means that you will be able to test in the same environment that you have trained.
A dummy laying in a medical bedGroup of students wearing scrubs all wearing antlers

Next Steps

I'm interested!  What are my next steps?
The Nursing Assistant program accepts students twice a year through the orientation and First Class day process.  Check the Program Guide for the next class start dates. Visit the How to Get Started page now.
Refund Policy
Refunds for this class must be requested by the end of the second week of class.  A $25.00 processing fee will be charged.