How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant in Palo Alto, California

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Certified nursing assistants in Palo Alto perform basic care tasks for patients such as grooming, dressing, bathing, eating and exercising. They assist the nursing staff with medical tasks like taking blood, monitoring vital signs and reporting on patient behavior and well-being. The assistant’s role is to ensure patients are comfortable and well cared for while under the supervision of doctors and nurses in the hospital, outpatient centers, and long-term care facilities. Read on to find out how you can become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in Palo Alto, California.

Required Skills

To practice as a certified nursing assistant in Palo Alto, you must use many soft skills to deliver the best patient care while providing a safe and comfortable healing environment for all patients. Common required skills and qualifications may include:

  • Interpersonal skills including customer service, patience, empathy and compassion
  • Communication skills like active listening, writing, speaking and reading comprehension
  • Collaboration and teamwork ability
  • Adaptive problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Understanding of patient care policies and regulations
  • Knowledge of signs and symptoms
  • Physical strength and stamina


The median wage for a certified nursing assistant in Palo Alto, California, is between $31,992 and $45,076 as of Aug. 2020. The compensation can vary widely depending upon the actual position to which you are applying. Typical education and qualification for a certified nursing assistant job in Palo Alto include:

  • Current California CNA certification
  • Six months experience as an assistant in acute or long-term treatment facility
  • written reference from CNA program instructor
  • Current basic life support (BLS) certification
  • High school diploma or equivalent


It is crucial that you select a program that is recognized by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). These programs are available at community colleges, allied health institutes, career colleges and stand-alone CNA training centers. CNA training programs in California are typically 6 to 12 weeks in length and require more hours than many other states. The programs involve classroom and clinical experiences. They also prepare learners to complete the NNAAP competency exam, which is a state requirement.

Program Cost

Tuition pricing will vary by each institution. However, you can expect to spend approximately $1,800, which may or may not include testing and other associated fees. You might be fortuitous enough to find an organization such as the Red Cross that offers free CNA training options. Nursing homes will occasionally cover the cost of your tuition in exchange for a work commitment.

Board Approved Programs

The successful completion of a CDPH approved program is essential for employment with California health care employers. The state requires CNA applicants to complete an approved training program and pass an examination. For additional information, take a glance at the CNA certification requirements in California.

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