LA Skills Academy's Ultimate Guide:
From Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)to DNP


✏️ A roadmap for CNA > LVN > RN > Advanced Practice Nursing

✏️ Created for Southern California

✏️ Made with you in mind and to inspire your journey

✏️ A beginners guide to nursing

✏️ A path to realizing your potential

✏️ A way to picture yourself and your future

1st Step – Become a CNA


CNA - a certified nursing assistant usually accommodates patients with daily living activities as well as with some basic healthcare needs. CNA's work under the supervision of either a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN

To become a CNA you have to:

  1. Be at least 16 years of age and hold a high-school diploma

  2. Attend and complete a California state-approved NAT program with 100 hours of clinical training plus 60 hours of instruction.

  3. Pass the California CNA State Exam. The exam consists of a written test and a hands-on practical examination


Where can CNA’s work?

CNA's can work in hospitals, retirement communities, or home healthcare services. 


More About the program 

You will have to enroll in a local community college or accredited private school, specializing in training CNA's. Depending on the school, you will be able to complete a program in as little as 6-8 weeks

CNA program includes both lectures and hands-on practice to better prepare a student for future contact with patients. With hands-on clinical practice, students learn basic skills, such as vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, etc.), oral care, nail care, patients' information recording, and more. 

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Program time-frame:

As little as 6 weeks


Schools’ recommendations: 

School Name: Los Angeles Skills Academy

Address: Multiple locations

Santa Fe Springs - 11627 Telegraph Rd Suite 101 CA 90670

Long Beach School for Adults - 2153 W. Hill Street Long Beach, CA 90810

Encino-  17200 Ventura blvd. Suite 303, Encino, CA 91316

San Bernardino - 225 West Hospitality Lane 

Phone Number: (213) 444-8997


School Name: Rio Hondo College

3600 Workman Mill Road Whittier, CA 90601

(562) 692-0921

The Program tuition:

Around $1,800-$ 2,500 

The Average Salary:

The average salary in California is - $36,342 –$ 55,000 a year, per 2020 up to $70,000 per year during and after the COVID Crisis (updated 2021)

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) often assist LVN's and RN's with patient care, such as monitoring, feeding, bathing, and hygiene. This allows CNAs to acquire more knowledge and facilitates to move forward with a career.


CNA is a perfect starting point to advance to higher-level healthcare positions. Many students prefer to apply for CNA right after high school to gain more experience and therefore decide which nursing career to pursue. Moreover, CNA is popular among individuals who are seeking to transition to healthcare careers.


It is also worth mentioning that there is a bridge program available from the CNA to LVN that will reduce the hours of learning on your way to become an LVN.