A nursing student holds a toothbush for another student in a hospital bed acting as a patient. An instructor looks on

Students prepare for state CNA exam at the San Diego College of Continuing Education.

High school students can earn nursing assistant credential

March 13, 2023 | San Diego Community College District

Students at two San Diego Unified School District high schools will soon be able to train as certified nursing assistants (CNA) through the San Diego College of Continuing Education with classes counting toward required CNA preparation by the time they graduate high school.

The program, which launches this summer at SDCCE’s César E. Chávez Campus in Barrio Logan, is open to students at San Diego High School’s MedTech Academy and the School of Biomedical Science and Technology at Kearny High Educational Complex. Lab classrooms at SDCCE mirror a hospital setting to prepare CNA students for careers at hospitals, medical centers, skilled nursing facilities, or in-home health.

“The San Diego College of Continuing Education is excited to partner with the San Diego Unified School District in this career-training opportunity that will not only prepare high school students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become registered CNAs, but also set them on a healthcare career pathway that can lead to becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) or a Registered Nurse (RN)  and livable wages,” said SDCCE President Dr. Tina M. King.

San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Lamont Jackson agreed. “This partnership will provide real-world opportunities for our students to thrive in school, college, and career, allowing them to become certified nursing assistants by the time they graduate high school,” he said. “The San Diego Unified School District is thrilled to collaborate with the San Diego College of Continuing Education on this new program and all that it offers our students.”  

The program will give students seeking employment after high school the opportunity to pursue a career and education in an expanding field.

Certified nursing assistants are playing a critical role in the growing healthcare industry and earn an average wage of nearly $40,000 annually in San Diego County, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. CNAs work under the direction of on-site licensed nursing staff in performing duties ranging from measuring and recording vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure, to feeding patients. In addition to nursing, expanded career opportunities for CNAs can include nursing management and leadership. 

The summer class at the SDCCE’s César E. Chávez Campus begins June 13. SDCCE's CNA certificate program prepares students for the state CNA examination and provides an opportunity for clinical rotations at local hospitals and healthcare facilities. Because SDCCE is a state testing site, students will be able to take the state exam shortly after they complete the program. The new partnership allows for high school students to become certified CNAs by the time they graduate with their high school diploma.

Subscribe to newscenter

Upcoming Events

More Events