Certified Nursing Assistant Program

The Certified Nursing Assistant Program at Saddleback College was established to empower students to gain the skills and knowledge of providing basic patient care as a member of the healthcare team. The Nursing Assistant Program prepares students for employment as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in a variety of health care settings ranging from acute care hospitals to skilled nursing facilities. This program is approved by the Department of Public Health, State of California (CDPH). Students must attend an information session, mandatory orientation, complete a physical examination, and background/drug test in order to participate in this program. This program offers training through two multi-week courses consisting of in person didactic instruction and clinical rotations. Successful completion of both the didactic course and the clinical rotation course is required to finish this program. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the state certification examination administered by the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) to earn their certificate as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).


The Nursing Assistant Program at Saddleback College is approved by the Department of Public Health, State of California (CDPH), following Title 22 regulations.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
Licensing and Certification Program (L&C)
Aide and Technician Certification Section (ATCS)
Training Program Review Unit (TPRU)
P.O. Box 997416, MS 3301
Sacramento, CA 95899-7416

Admission Requirements

Prerequisites to the Nursing Assistant program:

  1. Must attend an Information Session (See information session dates and registration links below).
  2. Must be 16 years of age or older
  3. Apply to Saddleback College to become a student (must have a student ID number to submit a CNA application)
  4. Complete health requirements – More information given at the Information Session (students must show proof of personal health insurance)
  5. Complete/Clear Drug screen – More information given at the Information Session
  6. Complete/Clear Background check – More information given at the Information Session

CNA Information Sessions

Applicants of the Saddleback Nursing Assistant Program must attend one of the following information sessions (must attend 45-minutes out of 60-minutes for credit). We also encourage anyone else interested in learning more about the program to attend.



September 13th      5:00 PM-7:00 PM  
        September 15th         3:00 PM- 5:00 PM  
        September 21st        9:00 AM- 11:00PM  
        October 4th        1:00 PM- 3:00 PM  
         October 12th        5:00 PM- 7:00 PM  


  • Please arrive 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the information session
  • Times and dates are subject to change
  • You do not need to be enrolled at Saddleback College to attend the information session
  • Questions regarding the CNA information session can be directed to sccna@saddleback.ed



Application Information

Application period for Spring: September 20th-October 14th 11:59pm


Students will be notified if they have been provisionally accepted or an alternate (alternates will be expected to come to the mandatory orientation and will be fingerprinted). Those students selected then will receive directions to complete a urine analysis drug screen, background check and health clearance form with immunizations and titer results. Those that do not meet requirements (positive urine analysis, flagged background check, incomplete health requirements), may not be able to enter the program and an alternate student will fill in their place.

Due to limited staffing, we will be unable to provide status inquiries during the application period. Applicants will be notified of their application status via Submittable by October 20th. If you do not receive any information about your application status by that date, you may contact the CNA program at sccna@saddleback.edu.

Additional Dates/Information

Clinical compliance deadline December 2nd 2023

Those invited into the program must be able to perform the duties of a CNA. Students will be required to have a physical examination within 3 months of admission. The following immunizations will be required:

  • TDAP
  • TB clearance (to be completed prior to receiving COVID-19 booster to avoid delays)
  • Full COVID vaccine/booster
  • Seasonal flu shot (when available).

Students will need to provide evidence of vaccination status not only for enrollment into the Nursing Assistant Program but also to take courses at Saddeback College that are in person or hybrid. For details regarding vaccination status, please visit the link here. 

*Physical examinations need to be completed 90 days before the spring admission date.*

Click here to download the Mandatory Health Assessments and Immunity Status Requirements.

Students will also be required to complete a background check, drug screening, obtain Professional Liability insurance, and possess a valid BLS/CPR card through the American Heart Association (no other providers) prior to registering for classes. These courses are reserved only for students accepted into the Nursing Assistant Program and students will not be cleared to register until all of the requirements have been completed. Failure to complete any of the programs requirements/deadlines (which are provided to students upon acceptance), will result in students signing a Non-Compliance Form. Depending on the situation, students may or may not be eligible to continue in the program after signing a Non-Compliance Form.


Items to bring to fingerprint date:

  • Students will need to bring a non-expired state ID, DL or passport and original, non-laminated SS card or ITIN paperwork with same name as ID.
  • Students are required to complete the Live Scan form located below. Students must bring this completed form with them to the mandatory orientation date. Click here to download the Request for Live Scan Service PDF.

No late entry will be permitted for anyone who arrives 10 minutes after the start of the mandatory orientation session.



Become a certified nursing assistant.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors are taken into consideration in the student selection process for entrance into the Saddleback Nursing Assistant Program?

  • Attend an information session (Must attend 45 out of the 60 minutes for credit).
  • Have a Saddleback College student ID.
  • Correctly and fully complete the Nursing Assistant application.
  • Applicants will be randomly selected from the application pool for provisional acceptance.
  • Students will be notified if they are provisionally accepted or accepted as an alternate after the fall application period has concluded. Acceptance letters will be distributed to provisionally accepted student and a signed acceptance letter must be returned by the requested deadline as indicated on the letter. If a student declines the invitation into the program, they must re-apply during a future semester.


What may I do while waiting to apply to the Saddleback CNA Program?

Nursing Assistant Program Faculty

Katrina Cuasay BSN, RN
Department Chair / Program Director
Nursing Assistant Program 

Lori Hefter Project Assistant lhefter@saddleback.edu Direct line: (949) 582-4731 Located: HS 235