FONTANA, CA – Fontana High School’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program achieved a 97 percent pass rate for the state board exam during the 2021-22 school year, an accomplishment that qualifies students to join the workforce as they pursue higher education and advanced career opportunities in the medical field.
The program – offered through the Patient Care career technical education (CTE) pathway at FOHI – provides hands-on training at nursing facilities, offers the opportunity to earn credit at Chaffey College, and prepares students to earn state certification.
“I am very proud of our students for having a high success rate on the state exam, demonstrating such dedication to this program throughout the year, and for setting high goals for their futures,” FOHI nursing instructor George Tiwari said. “What is great about this program is that it gives students a hands-on introduction to the medical field, and inspires them to pursue a college education and careers as registered nurses, doctors, therapists and more.”
The one-year program consists of a nursing assistant course, followed by a course focused on acute care. The 360-hour nursing assistant course focuses on preparing students for the state CNA exam –a rigorous assessment that tests students’ knowledge and skills related to basic patient care services. Students also earn their CPR Basic Life Support certification from the American Heart Association.
Students gain hands-on training at the Citrus Nursing Facility, located across the street from Fontana High School. There, they work with the residents, assisting them with direct patient care that includes feeding, dressing, bathing and more.
Many Class of 2022 graduates will further their education by attending college in the fall, building on the skills they learned in the CNA program – including Hermylie Polanco, who is set on attending UCLA for her undergraduate studies, going to medical school and becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.
“I have always been intrigued by healthcare, and being part of this program – especially during a pandemic – has confirmed this is the right path for me,” Polanco said. “I’ve learned so many life skills in this program that I will take with me, like learning to be patient, communicate clearly, be organized and responsible. It also feels rewarding to be able to help people in our community.”
In addition to becoming a surgeon, Polanco said she hopes to one day open her own hospital and break down barriers to make healthcare more accessible to everyone.
“We are extremely proud of our CNA students and their dedication to such an important and demanding program,” FOHI Assistant Principal Marissa Beitler said. “The level of compassion and professionalism is phenomenal. We are thrilled to celebrate another successful class full of registered CNA students entering the workforce, knowing they will benefit their community for years to come.”
FUSD_FOHI_CNA: Students in the Fontana Unified Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program – housed at Fontana High School – achieved a 97 percent pass rate for the state board exam in 2021-22. The CNA program provides hands-on training at nursing facilities, offers the opportunity to earn credit at Chaffey College, and prepares students to earn state certification.