Free CNA Training in California

You can start a rewarding career helping patients in healthcare settings with activities of daily living while helping the rest of the healthcare staff to provide basic care and monitor vital signs for patients by becoming a CNA.  California requires a total of 160 hours of theoretical and clinical training for potential CNAs.  You must pass the exam for certification to become certified as well.  There are paid CNA programs as well as some no cost cna training opportunities. You’ll find many free training options for California below:

1) Some high schools in California train students who do not intend to attend college for careers that do not require a degree.  It is not uncommon for these high schools to provide students with the necessary state approved training to sit for the CNA certification exam and work as a certified nursing assistant.  Assuming that a student attends a high school that is tuition free, they will receive free cna training.  This provides a good way for a student to begin an entry-level healthcare field right out of high school.


2) Nursing care facilities in the state of California often offer the potential for Low cost cna training.  You will typically need to sign a contract agreeing to work for the facility for a certain amount of time in exchange for all necessary nursing assistant training.  Contact local nursing care facilities in your area to express your interest in training to work as a CNA. To find out more read our article on How To Get Free Training From Nursing Care Facilities

3) It is sometimes possible to receive  training from other healthcare facilities in California as well.  You can contact hospitals and rehabilitation centers in your local area to determine if any of them hire certified nursing assistants.  Then, you can inquire as to whether any of the facilities hire individuals to work as CNAs and provide their training.

Direct Free Training Listings in Californiacnanotes1

1) No Cost CNA Training from Homestead Schools, INC
Homestead Schools in Torrance is starting a CNA Program in March 2010 and is inviting  applicants to join it with a very special offer: Pay no tuition for the entire 5-week-long program consisting of theory and clinical training at the end of which graduates will be able to take the board exam and become certified nurse assistants. The normal tuition for this program is $1,200 with some schools charging even more. Your only cost would be for the text books and uniforms, approx. $170

2) Training from In-Home Supportive Services Consortium
If you have home care experience, or just a sincere desire to help others, they will train you in the skills you need to provide competent, compassionate care to people in need. More details at

3) The California Long Term Care Education Center
This is a non profit organization in California that retrains the workforce to improve employment prospects. One of their training options is CNA training. To get more details and get in the waiting list Click Here
They have branches in all major cities of California such as San jose, Crescent city, San Francisco and El Centro.

4) Low Cost Training From The Oakland Unified School District
They have an excellent course that costs just $285 (includes books). The reason it is good is because unlike other classes this one lasts for 10 weeks. the training is thorough and class size is just 15 allowing more student teacher interaction.  There are certain requirements though. You will need to have a GED or hish school diploma as well as be over the age of 18.
Call them on (510) 273-2300 for location and any other details.

5) R.O.P health Careers
Tuition free training is available depending on you meeting certain requirements. Call 822-5120 for more info. You will need to go to their centers to get assessed. Depending on how well you do in the assessment you will get called for orientation. Their classes are at no cost but you still need to pay for uniform, state exam and books.

6) Addus Healthcare
Addus HealthCare, Inc, 2401 S Plum Grove Road .Palatine, IL 60067 Phone: (847) 303-5300
Home Care Aide positions available at this nursing home that don’t require certification as a nursing assistant. You’ll be doing the same job but you won’t need a license. You’re also likely to pick up on the skills required and maybe even get employer sponsored training. They have positions in Walnut Creek at present.

7) Home Helpers
Locations available: Maher, CA. Rancho Cordova, CA. Sacramento, CA.
Home Care positions without qualification as a CNA. Again, similar to the above this is an excellent pathway to a career as a CNA if you can’t afford tuition at present. More info at: 800-216-4196 (Ask for the JOBS department)

Don’t Want To Read? See our brief video highlighting all the main opportunities:

Scholarships in California For Vocational Nursingcnanotes2

Cal Grant Program
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9027 Phone: 1-888-224-7268
The Cal Grant is a perfect way to pay for your CNA training. This grant covers tuition costs up to $12,192 which is more than enough for an intensive nurse aide course. They have differet grant options available. You would probably qualify under option C where you are eligible for $547 (books and equipment) and $2462 for tuition at a non community college. They have both need based and competitive grants. They award a lot of grants every year so its one of the better grants to apply for.

Institutions That Can Be Of Assistance

1) California Human Development
1249 Mangrove Avenue, Chico, CA 95926, 530-899-0624

2) Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program-Oakland
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612, Phone: (510) 444-CITY

3) NOVA Training of Silicone Valley
505 West Olive Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94085, Phone: 408-730-7232

4) California One Stop Career Center-Tri Cities
39155 Liberty Street, Suite B200, Freemont, CA 94538

Nursing homes that might give CNA Training for low Cost/No Charge in California

Note: These nursing homes DO NOT Provide CNA training directly. They do not provide free training but are a good place to start your search particularly those who have active CNA vacancies. 

  1. Applewood Inn – 201 Hartnell Avenue   Redding, California 96002 Phone: (530) 222-2273
  2.  Ararat Convalescent Hospital – 2373 Colorado Blvd.   Los Angeles, California 90041 Phone: (323) 256-8012
  3.  Arbor Convalescent Hospital – 900 North Church Street   Lodi, California 95240 Phone: (209) 333-8729
  4.  Arcadia Health Care Center – 1601 S Baldwin Ave.   Arcadia, California 91006 Phone: (323) 681-1504
  5.  Briercrest Inglewood Health Ca – 301 Centinela Ave   Inglewood, California 90302 Phone: (310) 672-1012
  6.  Brighton Convalescent Center – 1836 N. Fair Oaks   Pasadena, California 91103 Phone: (626) 798-9124
  7.  Country Villa Hacienda Healthcare – 1311 East Date Street   San Bernardino, California 92404 Phone: (909) 882-3316
  8.  Eden West Conv. Hosp. – 1805 West St.   Hayward, California 94545 Phone: (855) 405-9953
  9.  Edgewater Conv Hospital – 2625 East Fourth Street   Long Beach, California 90814 Phone: (562) 434-0974
  10.  Friends House – 684 Benicia Drive   Santa Rosa, California 95409 Phone: (707) 538-0152
  11.  Friendship Manor Lakeside – 11962 Woodside Avenue   Lakeside, California 92040 Phone: (619) 561-1222
  12.  Friendship Manor Nc – 902 South Euclid Avenue   National City, California 92050 Phone: (619) 791-7700
  13.  Jewish Home D/P Snf – 302 Silver Ave   San Francisco, California 94112 Phone: (415) 334-2500
  14.  John C. Fremont Healthcare Dis – 5189 Hospital Road   Mariposa, California 95338 Phone: (209) 966-3631
  15. Julia Healthcare Center – 276 Sierra Vista Avenue   Mountain View, California 94043 Phone: (650) 967-5714
  16.  Kaiser Permanente Post Acute – 1440 168th Avenue   San Leandro, California 94578 Phone: (510) 481-8575
  17.  Manorcare Health Services – 24962 Calle Aragon   Laguna Hills, California 92653 Phone: (949) 587-9000
  18.  Manorcare Health Services – 7807 Uplands Way   Citrus Heights, California 95610 Phone: (916) 967-2929
  19.  Manorcare Health Serv Rossmoor – 1975 Tice Valley Blvd.   Walnut Creek, California 94595 Phone: (925) 906-0200
  20.  Oceanview Convalescent Hospital – 1340 15th Street   Santa Monica, California 90404 Phone: (310) 451-9706
  21.  Sherman Oaks Hosp H C D/P Snf – 4929 Van Nuys Blvd   Sherman Oaks, California 91403 Phone: (818) 907-4531
  22.  Sherman Village Care Center – 12750 Riverside Drive   North Hollywood, California 91607 Phone: (818) 766-6105
  23.  Sherwood Healthcare Center – 4700 Elvas Ave   Sacramento, California 95819 Phone: (916) 454-4700

Quick Recap of Free Training Options in California

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18 Responses to Free CNA Training in California

  1. Laura Reta-Huerta January 26, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    I was wondering if I can do paid CNA and how I can get started I was doing medical assistant and wasn’t able to finish due to some personal problems but now that everything is better I wanna go back and do CNA. The only problem I have is I had loans for school and they went into default so right now I have to see if there is a way to get out of them. If this paid training is the thing to help me I wanna make the move to start as soon as possible. Thank you very much and by the way my number is (removed) if u have any questions

    • Admin February 18, 2011 at 11:09 am #

      Hi Laura,
      You can start by contacting a nursing home near you that has active CNA vacancies. With the current shortage of CNA’s many will be more than willing to get you trained for free.n You might even get paid while you’re being trained if you’re lucky.

  2. Charlene May 31, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    I need free CNA classes in San Francisco…are there any requirements for me to get into the program?tnx

  3. cathy van derGroote July 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    My ex husband is moving down from Oregon so that he can have ’round the clock servicces provided by a CNA. However his insurande is limited. and we all thought that keeping the services within the family would be more appropriate. so I thought I would look into classes possibly provided by the state to train me as a CNA. Any information regarding classes along these lines would be extremely helpful. Thank you

  4. Phyllis September 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Im looking to renew my cert. havent used it in 15 years but was still doing In home care. all ADL situations was done but now I find that I need to be recertified to get a better job. in need of free trainning in the next 6 to 8 weeks if at all possable

  5. nirangeet singh October 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    i need free cna classes in sacramento…how will i get qualified for the classes? thanks

  6. maricar p. dupale October 17, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    i need a free CNA classes in long beach area.i would like to know the requirements & procedure.

    thanks and best regards.

  7. Michele March 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    I would love to know if anyone knows of training in Marin County. Paid would be great but not absolutely necessary. Thanks!

  8. Corrie Rhodes May 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    I have called this number 3 times and have been disconnected twice and left on hold for 15 minutes. Is there another number I can call or an office where I can go and sign up? Thank you for your help.

    • Admin May 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      Which opportunity were you referring to? The 3 opps before the nursing home’s list are your best bet.

  9. Antoinette g September 16, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    hi I was wondering if I can get for no cost CNA training in San Bernardino CA.. I’ve been trying to do CNA for awhile and everybody wants 1800 dollars.. I don’t have no money and I’m a single mother of two kids

  10. C. Kelley October 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Most Adult and vocational schools offer the Nursing Assistant training program for $1200 or $1500+ $500 for the HHA cert. I know that Goodwill education center not the thrift store, offers the program for $50 to low income families and you have to attend an orientation and take a basic math and reading test and pass it to take the class. And like ‘Admin’ said check with your local Nursing homes, the clinical part of CNA training is done in a Long term care facility/Nursing home, so whichever school is offering the program they should have the info. I hope this was helpful.

  11. C. Kelley October 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    The website for goodwill is once on the site click on the tab for “Employment and Programs” be sure to locate the center in your area. This is for low income families and as far as I know the fee is still $50. This is NOT paid training. If you live near a OneStop career center(EDD office) they would have more info on facilities offering paid training.

    • Admin October 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  12. Annalane Wright November 16, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    I would like to get a CNA class but I cant afford it ! Is there a way I can do it for free!! I need help I am a single parent ,I moved from a different State ,still dont have a job and place to live!!

  13. Velma July 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    I have a certified cna certificate from AZ. I have over 22 years experience. I have lived in CA for two years and have been working as a certified companion aide. The pay is very low. How can I be “grandfathered” in to a certificate in CA? Do I need to take CA tests or classes to become a CNA in CA? Who do I need to contact? Thank you

  14. marzae wilkerson September 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    Please give me a call. I would like to start a CNA program immediately.

  15. Admin February 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Your best bet is to contact a nursing home near you and see if they’d be willing to get you trained

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