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).

Admission Requirements and Application Information

Prerequisites to the Nursing Assistant program:

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

The application period for the summer will be held from January 24 through March 21, 2023.

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 March 23, 2023. If you do not receive any information about your application status by that date, you may contact the CNA program at

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.

Before applying to the program you should meet with an academic calendar to assist with course options while you are waiting to apply to the CNA program.

Click here for the application to the Certified Nursing Assistant Program.

Information Sessions
Date Time  Link to Sign Up
January 19, 2023 11 am to 1 pm Register for January 19 session
February 8, 2023 3 to 5 pm  Register for the February 8 session
February 16, 2023 5 to 7 pm Register for the February 16 session
March 13, 2023 9 to 11 am Register for the March 13 session

Applicants must attend an information session and stay for a minimum of 45 out of the 60 minutes to receive credit.

Clinical compliance deadline for Summer is April 23, 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)

 *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.

Contact the Certified Nursing Assistant Program