The Pathway

Through a partnership with ACC and CU, DCSD students will be able to complete their Certified Nurses Aide Certificate. This program will prepare the student for employment as a nurse aide in hospital, home care, skilled care, and hospice facilities. The entry-level skills of a nurse aide are an excellent introduction to a broad range of health professions. Basic nursing skills, including activities of daily living, use of assistive devices and recognition of the emotional, social, cultural, and individual rights of patients are all competencies that will be covered in the coursework.

Successful completion of the Nurse Aide Certificate course at ACC qualifies the student to take the State Certification Examination, also known as the NNAAP exam, to become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA).

Students will need to be able to do clinicals on an occasional evening or weekend and have their own transportation. Some clinical facilities require a student to be 18 years old, but not all. If you turn 18 later in the year, please consider requesting a spring cohort so you have greater options for clinical placements.

Nurse Aide Program Requirements:

  • Students must supply their own uniform, complete with scrubs, shoes, and a watch. There are also professional requirements such as hair and nail grooming specifications, and limited tattoos and jewelry. More information is provided at orientation.
  • Complete the ACC application for acceptance to college.
  • Complete a Criminal Background Check through ACC/Castle Branch. Please note: Criminal background checks require a fee and the applicant's social security number. Should the background check reveal any disqualifying factors or a positive drug screen, the student will be required to drop the program.
  • BLS Certification Card must be from an American Heart Association Training Center.
  • My Clinical Exchange is a metro wide requirement for all healthcare programs. The database provides facilities with the necessary documents to achieve Regulatory Compliance. Cost is $39.50.
  • Obtain the required vaccinations (this is required by healthcare facilities, not by DCSD or ACC):
    • 2 MMR Vaccines/positive titer
    • 2 Varicella Vaccines/positive titer
    • 3 Hepatitis B Vaccines/positive titer/ waiver
    • Tdap vaccine (within the last 10 years)
    • Provide documentation of seasonal Influenza vaccine
    • Provide documentation of COVID-19 Vaccine(s): 2 Moderna, 2 Pfizer, or one J&J COVID vaccine
    • Documentation of a negative Tuberculosis Test completed within the year of program completion.

Please see the full list of requirements and checklist on the ACC Nurse Aide Page.


Orientation Night Presentation


If you missed ORIENTATION NIGHTyou will need to stop by the Legacy Campus to pick up your folder, schedule, and make sure your ACC application is complete. Directions on how to complete the ACC application can be found under "College Credit" on this page.

There are several tasks (such as vaccines and MyClinicExchange registration) that need to be completed soon (we are asking by June 1 for fall students so we can verify eligibility before summer break. . . spring students have until December). You can find the presentation slides HERE. We have also added more BLS classes and spots due to such great interest. Please sign up for your BLS class HERE (note- spring students, please wait until fall if possible). There are also other BLS classes offered around town (through rec centers, etc.).

All equipment can be checked out at the Legacy Campus at the back to school check-in day in August. If you have any other questions, please reach out to Erin Williams at [email protected] (Legacy counselor) or Cassi Raccine at (ACC CNA Lead Instructor)

Applications for the 24-25 school year are now closed
If space is available in a specific pathway we will reopen the application after April 1st, for a 2nd round of application submissions.

The Instructors

Required Learning Sequence 2024-2025

Students must register for all 3 courses concurrently.

Nursing Recommended Learning Sequence

This pathway is taught by Arapahoe Community College professors at the DCSD Legacy Campus on our compatible schedule so high school students can earn their CNA certificate while in high school. This is a fast-paced, rigorous program in which students take all courses in a semester during their senior year. After indicating interest in this pathway, students will begin receiving information directly from the director of the CNA program at ACC so they can begin providing information to the college regarding vaccinations, background check, etc. Students must be able to communicate directly with the ACC teachers, be organized, and display ethical decision-making practices as they care for others. Students will begin clinicals about 10-11 weeks into the semester, during which time their “classes” will all be at a local healthcare facility instead of at the DCSD Legacy Campus. Students register for MyClinicalExchange to request locations. Each location’s hours and availability varies. After successful completion of these classes, student will take their state exam to obtain a CNA license in Colorado.

Pre-req: no academic requirements, but students MUST attend a CNA orientation meeting AND submit all required vaccinations, background check, and paperwork. CNA students will need to provide some of their own equipment such as stethoscopes and scrubs. Students must be able to perform physical skills and keep up with rigorous reading & online work.

Credit Opportunities

Postsecondary Partners

CU logo Arapahoe Community College logo

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