San Diego is California’s second largest city and is located in the southern part of the state along the Pacific Coast. Therefore, it enjoys a warm climate with plenty of sun, amazing water sports and year-long golf. It is particularly well-known for the San Diego Zoo and its historic neighborhoods downtown, including Little Italy and Gaslamp Quarter.
Because the weather is so nice here, San Diego is also a popular spot for seniors to call home. Out of the 1.3 million residents, approximately 12 percent of them are over the age of 65. In addition, 5 percent of residents under the age of 65 are disabled. These facts alone will quickly show you why there is such a need for quality health care, including hands-on services. Certified nursing assistants will find it easy to land quality jobs as the need for nursing care becomes more vital.
Becoming a CNA in San Diego does not take much time even if you have not had prior training or experience. You must be at least 16 years old to begin training. Depending on your school, you may need a high school diploma or GED although this is not always required. You will need to pass a physical examination, have up-to-date immunizations, pass a drug screening and pass a criminal background check.
San Diego requires more CNA training hours compared to many other cities. You will have to complete a minimum of 150 hours of which 100 hours must be spent practicing hands-on care in clinical settings. Your classes will follow a specific educational framework covering certain topics, such as nutrition, charting and rehabilitation.
Upon completion of the training program, you will be prepared to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program Examination, which includes both knowledge and skills tests. If you are already licensed as a CNA in another state, you may be able to apply for reciprocity in San Diego.
San Diego offers plenty of job opportunities for prospective CNAs. With eight hospitals directly in the city and several more options in nearby suburbs, CNAs have numerous job opportunities. As of 2019, the average CNA salary here was $33,721 with some people who have worked numerous years making up to $37,234.
As a CNA, you will have plenty of time to devote to hands-on care with your patients whether you work in a nursing home, a hospital or a home health or hospice setting. You will spend most of your time serving your patients, helping them get dressed and eat their meals, encouraging them to increase movement, taking their vital signs and communicating their needs or concerns to their nurses. You will work directly under an LPN or an RN and must have great interpersonal and communication skills to excel in your field.
The average CNA salary in San Diego is $34,690 (BLS)
Now that you are ready to get started with your education or your career in San Diego, you will need to know how to get around the city. The best option by far is by car because this will give you the independence that you need to get around this spread-out city. While San Diego does have trolley and bus routes through the Metropolitan Transit System, they do not work as seamlessly as do other public transportation options in similarly sized large cities. If you do choose to drive your own car, you can look for public parking garages and surface lots in most major areas, and you will find metered parking on downtown streets.
If you prefer to let someone else drive for you, choose a taxi company, such as Yellow Cab or American Cab. In addition, Uber and Lyft provide great service throughout the area.
San Diego offers numerous bike paths and trails throughout the bay area and along the Pacific Coast Highway but not many urban bike lanes. In addition, San Diego is the 19th most walkable city in the U.S. and is scored at 51 out of 100 as somewhat walkable.
Numerous schools in San Diego offer approved CNA training at a variety of price points, numerous formats and a variety of time frames. In fact, there are currently 18 options approved by the state of California in San Diego proper and numerous more in the surrounding areas. Some options include Pacific Health Education Center, International Health Group, California Medical College and Fast Track Medical Training Center. Many schools offer CNA classes at multiple campuses.
One great option is offered through San Diego Continuing Education, which was founded in 1914. This school offers numerous certificate programs at seven different San Diego campuses in such areas as culinary arts, fashion, health care, plumbing and welding.
San Diego Continuing Education offers Nursing Assistant classes as a certificate program. The program provides a minimum of 250 contact hours which can be completed in 12 to 16 weeks. Before beginning the program, students will need to attend a 2.5 hour orientation class, which includes a reading and math assessment. This program is free. However, students will need to have approximately $400 to purchase necessary uniforms and books, pay for a physical examination and tuberculosis test and procure an up-to-date CPR card.
|International Health Group, Inc||8787 Complex Drive, Suite B-100||San Diego||CA||92123||858-278-9800|
|Mira Costa College||One Barnard Dr.||Oceanside||CA||92056||619-757-2121|
|National City Adult School||517 Mile Of Cars Way||National City||CA||91950||619-336-9400|
|Pacific Health Education Center||10225 Barnes Canyon Rd. Suite A 208||San Diego||CA||92121||858-658-0362|
|Poway Adult School||13626 Twin Peaks Rd||Poway||CA||92064||858-668-4024|
|San Diego Continuing Education||1901 Main Street||San Diego||CA||92113||619-388-1928|
|San Diego Job Corps Center||1325 Iris Ave. Bldg. 60||Imperial Beach||CA||91932||619-429-8500|
|San Diego Medical College||821 Kuhn Drive Suite 103||Chula Vista||CA||91914||619-942-8274|
|San Diego Medical College||6780 Miramar Road #204||San Diego||CA||92121||619-942-8274|
Free CNA training programs may lock you into working at a particular facility for a certain number of years. However, they can help you get your foot in the door of this fast-paced career, give you great job security and save you plenty of money.
Brighton Gardens Carmel Valley and Casa De Las Campanas provide CNA training programs while you are working for them. Therefore, you can earn a paycheck even while you are learning and will be prepared to take the state CNA examination. The Children’s Convalescent Hospital provides the same type of training with compensation but in a pediatric rehabilitation environment. In addition, many other hospice organizations and skilled nursing facilities offer free training several times throughout the year.
If you fall into a certain financial category, you may also be able to apply for the free CNA training program at Eastlake Medical College, which provides no-cost tuition to deserving students. However, you will still need to pay for your books and supplies.