Become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)


The Certified Nursing Assistant class (NURS 103) is a course that leads to employment as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The course focuses on the basic principles of nursing, development and application of nursing skills in long-term care facilities.

  • Course Length:

    1 semester (6 units)

  • Course Completion:
    • Certificate of Completion
    • Eligible to take the state examination to obtain a certificate as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

What is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

Nurse Assistants perform routine tasks in the general care of hospital, clinic, and nursing home patients. CNAs work directly under the supervision of registered and vocational nurses and perform services that require less training, therefore, freeing the medically trained staff for more highly skilled, specialized duties. Typical services and responsibilities of a CNA include:

  • Answering patient call lights
  • Bathe, dress, and undress patients
  • Tidy patients’ room
  • Changing soiled linen
  • Assist patients with personal hygiene
  • Serve meals, water and snacks
  • Feed patients who need help
  • Transport patients, help patients walk
  • Take and record temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure
  • Record food and liquid intake/output
  • Collect specimens; urine, stool, sputum
  • Perform procedures including Heimlich maneuver, isolation, Universal Precautions, gait belt, post-mortem care
  • Observe and report unusual conditions
  • Measure height and weight using bed, chair and balance scales

Application Process

The application filing period for the Certified Nursing Assistant course is:

Apply here

Note:  Applicants must be 18 years or older. Nursing Assistant course clinical sites require anyone visiting their facility for clinical rotations to be 18 years or older.  In order to successfully complete the Certified Nursing Assistant course, you must complete both the theory and clinical components of the course.

Follow the steps below to be eligible for the course:

Step #1:

  • Apply and be admitted to Pasadena City College.  Upon admission to the college, you will be assigned a PCC Student ID number and a PCC student email account.  You will need these to complete the C.N.A. application.
  • Submit a C.N.A. application online via the PCC website.  A complete application includes all information on the application is filled out and transcripts are official documents that have been scanned and saved as a PDF file.
  • United States High School (or GED or Foreign Equivalency) transcripts must be official transcripts that you have opened, scanned, saved as a PDF file and uploaded with your C.N.A. application.  Label the transcripts "High School Transcripts".

Follow these basic directions for scanning documents to your online application:

  • Open the sealed official High School transcript(s) that you will be uploading to your C.N.A. application
  • Scan the official transcripts using a device such as a printer or scanner
  • Follow the scanner manufacturer's directions to scan each document to your computer or USB drive
  • Select the PDF file format option before scanning. Only PDF files of your transcripts and other supporting documents will be accepted. Formats such as JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIF, screenshot, word documents, etc. will not be accepted for the application process.
  • Save your PDF document to a folder in a location on your computer or removable drive that you can easily access (Desktop or Documents folder is suggested)

NOTE: Students who do not have access to a personal scanner may choose to use a commercial copying center to have their required documents scanned and made into PDFs that then may be uploaded as part of your application.

Follow these basic directions for uploading documents to your online application:

  • When prompted on the application to upload your documents marked "Drop Files here or Select Files" click on this button
  • Find the PDF files you want to upload from your computer or flash drive
  • Select the file by double clicking on it (tap twice)
  • Your file will be uploaded

After you have submitted your application, you will be sent forms and instructions on how to complete Step #2 to your Pasadena City College email account.

Step #2: Do not complete these steps until you have received an email from Pasadena City College with links to the forms below.

  • Obtain an American Heart Association CPR/Basic Life Support card.  Only American Heart Associate CPR cards will be accepted. https://cpr.heart.org/en
  • Complete the Health Sciences C.N.A. Health Requirements form.
  • Complete a Background check - more information to follow.
  • Complete the State of California BCIA 8016 Request for Live Scan Service form.
  • Complete a California Department of Public Health Certified Nurse Assistant Initial Application CDPH 283B form. 

Step #3:

Return as a completed packet the documents listed below.  These items must be scanned and saved as PDF files. Formats such as JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIF, screenshot, word documents, etc. will not be accepted. Applicants will be sent an email address to send the packet of completed documents.

  • American Heart Association CPR verification. Must show an expiration date. Label the PDF file "CPR".
  • Proof of a Completed Background check.
  • Copy of the completed Health Sciences C.N.A. Health Requirements form. Make sure you have signed and dated the form. Some of the vaccinations may be in progress.  You must have completed at least the first vaccination if it is a series of vaccinations. Label the PDF file "Health Requirements".
  • Copy of the filled in Live Scan form. Label the PDF file "Live Scan".
  • Copy of the completed C.N.A. Initial Application form. Label the PDF "Initial Application".

Keep copies of all your documents for your own personal records. The Health Sciences Division cannot make copies for you.

Health Requirements Overview

The Certified Nursing Assistant course requires the following health requirements:

  • Titers for Rubella, Rubeola, Mumps, Varicella.  For measles, mumps, rubella and varicella, quantitative protective titers are required within 12 months of the first day of each year of training unless otherwise specified.  If titers are non-protective, a booster vaccine and a follow-up titer will be required.  This requirement may exceed the CDC guidelines for Healthcare Personnel (HCP) workers.
  • 10 Drug abuse panel urine screening.
  • Immunization dates for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Td (tetanus/diphtheria), Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B, Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis), Influenza, Covid 19.
  • TB (tuberculosis) screening is required.  Nursing clinical sites will only accept IGRA testing, completed within 12 months of the first day of each training year unless otherwise specified.
  • Physical examination completed within the last 6 months of entrance to the course.  Must be able to perform the basic physical requirements of the entry level position including: stooping, lifting 23-35 pounds, pulling, standing, walking, practicing proper body mechanics, pushing occupied beds, wheelchairs or gurneys, bathing, turning and ambulating patients, manipulating small equipment.
  • Have good physical and mental health.

A Health Requirements form will be given to qualified applicants during the application cycle after successfully completing Step #1.

The health requirements may take 3-5 weeks to complete with several office visits required.  The PCC Student Health Services Office offers low cost medical services for enrolled students. 

Selection Process

Students will be cleared to register for the Certified Nursing Assistant course after completing steps 1-3 above by the Health Sciences Division Office and the required documentation has been verified as complete.  The C.N.A. course is limited to 10 students per section.  The first students to complete all required documentation will be sent an email notifying them to register for the course.

All applicants will be notified of their status prior to the start of the class by email.  Additionally, non-selected applicants will be notified when the class is full.

Course Completion

Upon successful completion of the Certified Nursing Assistant course, students will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and be eligible to take the Examination for the California Nurse Assistant Certification offered by an approved state testing agency for a fee. The Regional Testing Center or the American Red Cross are qualified agencies that will administer the competency exam for a fee of approximately $100.

 Estimated Cost of the Program

Prices subject to change:

Health Screening from PCC Student Health Services (costs will be higher in other settings):

Administrative Fee for services - 13.00
Lab work - 50.00
Hepatitis B vaccine - 37.00
Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine - 53.00
Tdap - 41.00
Varicella vaccine - 85.00
Physical exam - 25.00

Uniform (per set) 2 sets are recommended - 120.00

Shoes - 150.00
Name Badge -12.00
PCC Patch - 5.00

Stethoscope & pen light - 100.00
Watch with second hand - 50.00
Textbook - 100.00

Background check - 35.00
Livescan - 72.00
Parking (per semester includes campus and clinical sites) - $100
Tuition (per unit for CA resident) $46/credit 
CPR Card – American Heart Association only - 65.00

Transcript Evaluation

If you are a student with foreign transcripts, you must have your transcripts evaluated by one of the following three companies before applying. A detailed/comprehensive report with the breakdown of upper and lower division courses is required. High School must be equivalent to graduation from a United States accredited High School. Credit from foreign schools can only be recognized for math, humanities, and the physical education requirements:

International Research Foundation (IERF)
(310)-258-9451 | www.ierf.org

Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI)
(310)-275-3530 | http://www.acei-global.org/application-for-evaluation

American Education Research Center (AERC)
(626)-339-4404 | www.aerc-eval.com