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Free CNA Classes in San Diego

The following is our continuously updated guide on the best providers of free CNA classes in San Diego. As a nursing educator, I meticulously curated the list to help aspiring Certified Nursing Assistants undoing financial hardship find education providers who can provide necessary CNA training for free in the San Diego area.

Alongside a carefully selected list of top-rated institutions offering free CNA training, I also provided some tips on how to find new free training opportunities for CNAs, and how scholarships and financial aid options can be used to significantly reduce the costs of CNA classes.

My goal is to simplify your journey towards a rewarding career in nursing assistance by connecting you with quality education opportunities that align with your financial needs. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to advance your skills, this guide is your essential companion in finding cost-effective, high-quality CNA training in San Diego.

International Health Group Career College

International Health Group Career College (IHG) in San Diego offers a Fast Track 20-22-Day CNA Certification Program, approved by the California Department of Public Health. This program stands out for its compact duration and focus on preparing students for the state CNA tests. The curriculum is designed to equip students with the necessary skills for both theoretical knowledge and practical application, a requirement for the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) State Competency Test.

Instructors and Teaching Approach

IHG’s program is led by experienced instructors, including DSD certified, LVN, and RN professionals with substantial experience in the medical field. The teaching approach emphasizes compassion and patience, essential qualities for nursing assistants. Students are trained to assist in various patient care tasks under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), as well as in diagnostic procedures and technical treatments.

Flexibility and Accessibility

The college offers flexible scheduling options with classes available on both weekdays and weekends across various campus locations in San Diego and nearby areas. This flexibility is beneficial for students who may have other commitments. However, it’s important to note that class schedules are subject to change, so prospective students should stay informed about the latest timings.

Emphasis on Free Classes

A notable aspect of IHG’s program is the availability of free classes. This is made possible through scholarships provided by the IHG Education Foundation. The college’s commitment to offering free education to qualifying students is commendable, as it opens doors for many who might not otherwise have access to such training.

Support Services

IHG extends several support services to its students, including career advisory, mock interviews, and assistance with resume and portfolio building. These services are designed to prepare students not just for the certification test, but also for their subsequent job search and career development in the healthcare sector.

Enrollment and Certification Process

As a state testing center, IHG facilitates an efficient enrollment and certification process, including same-day and walk-in appointments for new students. Graduates receive a certificate of eligibility to take the State Competency Test, a crucial step towards becoming a certified nursing assistant in California.

Contact and Additional Information

Prospective students can reach out to IHG through various channels for more information and to schedule appointments. The college also provides information about work scholarships and donation opportunities related to its education foundation.

  • Location: 8787 Complex Dr Suite B, San Diego, CA 92123
  • Contact: Phone – 858-278-9800, Email – [email protected]
  • Website: IHGCC

My Final Thoughts

The IHG Career College’s CNA program in San Diego is notable for its focus on free education, experienced instructors, and comprehensive preparation for the state certification. While the program offers significant benefits, especially in terms of financial accessibility, interested individuals should thoroughly research and consider all aspects, including scheduling flexibility and the nature of the curriculum, to ensure it aligns with their career goals and personal circumstances.

Cesar E. Chavez Campus, San Diego Continuing Education

At Cesar E. Chavez Campus, part of San Diego Continuing Education, a variety of Healthcare Careers certificate programs are offered, designed to prepare students for entry-level healthcare professions. These programs stand out for their practical approach and are led by highly-rated instructors. The range of programs includes Personal Care Assistant/Caregiver, Nursing Assistant, Home Health Aide, Behavioral Health Aide, and Health Unit Coordinator. Each program is tailored to equip students with specific skills and knowledge, suitable for various healthcare roles.

Nursing Assistant Programs and Specializations

The campus offers a comprehensive Nursing Assistant program, which spans 394 hours over 16 weeks. This program is particularly focused on patient care training and prepares students for the Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) examination, a vital requirement for certification in California. Additionally, specialized programs like Nursing Assistant (Rehabilitative), Nursing Assistant (Acute Care), and Home Health Aide are available, each with its own duration and focus, catering to students seeking specific career paths in healthcare.

Additional Program Options

For those interested in roles beyond basic nursing assistance, the campus also provides programs such as the Behavioral Health Aide and Health Unit Coordinator. The Behavioral Health Aide program, which runs for 405 hours over 15 to 21 weeks, is tailored for Certified Nurse Assistants and Personal Care Assistants who wish to assist patients with behavioral and mental health issues. The Health Unit Coordinator program, encompassing 275 hours, focuses on the non-clinical aspects of patient care coordination.

Personal Care Assistant/Caregiver Program

The Personal Care Assistant/Caregiver program, a 230-hour course over 10 weeks, prepares students for healthcare roles through two specific courses: Healthcare Careers (HLTH 609) and Personal and Home Care Aide (HLTH 610). This program is designed for those aiming to assist in personal and home care settings.

Flexible Scheduling and Structure

The program schedules at Cesar E. Chavez Campus are well-organized and offer flexibility to meet the diverse needs of students. Each program requires completion of specific courses, ensuring that students receive a targeted and comprehensive education.

Emphasis on Free Education

A highlight of these programs is their tuition-free nature, making them highly accessible. While the job training and certificate programs themselves are free, students should be aware of additional expenses, which can amount to approximately $400 for books, uniforms, shoes, CPR card, physical exams, TB tests, immunizations, and the state certification exam.

Program Success Stories

Former students like Brian Yamase, who completed the Acute Care Nursing Assistant certificate, demonstrate the program’s effectiveness. Yamase’s journey from the program to employment at Sharp Healthcare and further education at Miramar College is a testament to the potential career advancement opportunities these programs offer.

Enrollment and Contact Information

My Final Thoughts

I feel as though the CNA training programs at the Cesar E. Chavez Campus provide diverse and specialized options for those looking to pursue a career in the healthcare sector. The tuition-free nature of these programs, coupled with their comprehensive curriculum and experienced instruction, makes them a valuable resource for individuals seeking accessible healthcare education in San Diego. Before enrolling in the program, be sure to ask about any additional fees you will be expected to pay for that are not included with the free tuition.

How To Find Free CNA Classes in San Diego

Finding free CNA classes in San Diego can be a straightforward process if you know where to look. Here are some steps and resources to help you in your search:

  1. Adult Education Centers: Start by checking calendars at San Diego area adult education providers like the San Diego Workforce Partnership and local community colleges and adult education centers. When I last checked none of these centers were offering free CNA classes, but classes are often only offered for a limited timeframe or the class schedules are irregular.
  2. Healthcare Facilities: Some hospitals and nursing homes in San Diego offer free CNA training programs, especially if there is a short-term high demand for nursing assistants. They are not always advertised on their websites, so it can be a good idea to call and ask. These facilities might require you to work for them for a certain period after completion of the course, so choose a facility that you would be interested in working for long-term.
  3. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): WIOA provides funding for job training programs, including CNA classes, for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed. Check with the local workforce development boards or employment agencies in San Diego to see if you qualify.
  4. Scholarships and Grants: Look for scholarships and grants specifically aimed at CNA students. Some scholarships can be found through a wide range of sources such as healthcare institutions, non-profit organizations, local high schools, foundations, or community groups. Consider your individual circumstances and think about what types of scholarships you could be eligible for.
  5. High Schools and Vocational Schools: Some high schools and non-profit vocational schools offer CNA training programs, potentially free for students. If you’re a high school student or recent graduate, check with your school’s guidance counselor for any available programs.
  6. Contact Local Nursing Boards or Health Departments: The local nursing board or health department in San Diego might have information on free CNA training programs or can direct you to resources where you can find this information.

Remember, while the training might be free, there may be other costs involved, like uniforms, textbooks, and examination fees. Always inquire about any additional costs associated with the program to ensure it fits within your budget. Also, ask about any necessary workforce agreements you would need to sign. If you break the agreement, you could be on the hook for the total cost of the classes later on.