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).

Degrees and Certificates

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
Information Sessions
Date Time  Link to Sign Up
August 7, 2023 9:30 a.m. Register 
August 16, 2023 2 p.m. Register
August 21, 2023 3 p.m. Register
August 28, 2023 9:30 a.m. Register
September 6, 2023 1 p.m. Register
September 11, 2023 9 a.m. Register
September 21, 2023 10 a.m. Register
September 25, 2023 1 p.m. Register

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

The Spring applications will be held August 11th through October 6th.

Applicants will be notified of their application status via Submittable by October 10, 2023.

View the CNA Program Application for Spring 2024

Students will be notified if they are provisionally accepted or accepted as an alternate after the 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.

All students accepted provisionally or as alternates will be expected to attend the mandatory orientation and will be fingerprinted.

Students selected to the program then will receive directions to complete a urine analysis drug screen, background check and health clearance form with immunizations and titer results. Those that who 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 take 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 10, 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.

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.


Download the Application to the Certified Nursing Assistant Program

Clinical compliance deadline for Fall is November 28, 2023

Bring money order or cashiers check for $120 for test fees to the mandatory orientation. Make check payable to The Regional Testing Center. Make sure to add your name in the memo line.

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
  • Full COVID vaccine/booster
  • Seasonal flu shot (when available)

NOTE: Physical Examinations to be completed no sooner than 90 days prior to the first day of class.


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.
  • Bring money order or cashiers check for $120 for test fees to the mandatory orientation. Make sure to add your name in the memo line.

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

How much does the Nursing Assistant Program Cost?

Item Cost
Nursing Program Tuition $0
Fees (Health) $23
Uniforms $50 - 100
Books $30 - 90 (new vs. used)
Supplies (blood pressure cuff/stethoscope/gait belt) $35 (as low as)
Health Requirements varies
CPR "BLS" $55 - 110
NSO Liability Insurance $27
Background/Drug Test/Castlebranch $132.75
NNAAP State Test $120
Total Estimated Cost $400+

NOTE: This is just an estimate. Costs may vary for each student and are subject to change.

2023-2024 Estimated Cost of Attendance

The estimated cost of attendance at Saddleback College includes an estimate for tuition and fees, books
and supplies as well as basic living expenses like food and housing, and personal and miscellaneous
expenses. Your actual expenses may be higher or lower than the amounts listed below.

Expenses Living With Parents (2 Semesters) Living Away from Parents (2 semesters)
Tuition & Fees $1,426 $1,426
Books & Supplies $938 $938
Living Expenses: Food & Housing $12,656 $22,670
Personal & Misc. $3,608 $4,428
Transportation $1,612 $1,764
Total Resident $20,240 $31,226
Total Non-Resident $32,540 $43,526
Expenses Living with Parents Living Away from Parents
Tuition & Fees $709 $709
Books & Supplies $312 $312
Living Expenses: Food & Housing $4,218 $7,557
Personal & Misc. $1,203 $1,476
Transportation $537 $588
Total Resident $6,979 $10,642
Total Non-Resident $13,129 $16,792
Expenses Living With Parents Living Away from Parents
  Summer Fall & Spring Summer Fall & Spring
Tuition & Fees $1,426 $709 $1,426 $709
Books & Supplies $938 $312 $938 $312
Transportation $1,612 $537 $1,764 $588
Total Resident $3,976 $1,558 $4,128 $1,609
Total Non-Resident $16,275 $7,708 $16,428 $7,759
  • Enrollment Fee: $46 per unit
    • Based on 15-units for Fall, Spring and Summer
  • Health Fee $26 for Fall and Spring, $22 for Summer
  • Non-Resident Tuition (in addition to the $46 per unit enrollment fee): $410 per unit ($365 non-resident tuition fee + $45 capital outlay fee)
  • Estimated cost of attendance may be adjusted for documented circumstances such as dependent care expenses, purchase of a computer, and other special circumstances (except for students enrolled less than half-time)

Optional fees

  • ASG Sticker - $10
  • Student Representation Fee - $2.00 (per semester)
  • Parking Permit Fee
  • Instructional Material Fees - as listed in the Schedule of Classes

Contact the Certified Nursing Assistant Program