East Bay CNA from Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

Thumbs up


I speak the truth and from the heart. And Thank You! I had a great experience training with you and appreciate everything you have taught me. There is something to be said about one person who can connect individually to her students to make the best impact, and that I’m absolutely grateful!

I have been wanting to send you a message to tell you how I did on the test and to thank you again, but my pride kept me back. I suppose I was going to wait till I passed my skills and then let it all out.

I will tell you now. As you know, I went to take my exam the Friday after graduation in Sacramento. I got there, it was a long drawn out process. A lot of waiting it seemed. I aced the written of course. Was not worried or nervous about anything (can’t say the same for the gal I was partnered with, poor thing). I pulled the pulse card for the second skill, and for the life of me I could not real this gals pulse! I started to think, oh no, I’m going to fail this one. But I decided, I’m going all in and treated it as if it was the last thing I’d ever do. So as annoying as it may have been for the gal (patient or resident), I asked kindly if I may retake it because I was not confident with my findings. Eventually I got a pulse. I think my kindness and persistence helped me in this case.

I then ventured on to my last skill where I had to transfer a resident from bed to chair. My confidence was at its top and I was sure that if I failed the skills it was because of the pulse card. I was wrong. I got 100% on everything except the transfer! The elder lady sitting in a chair 15′ away told me she didn’t think I was holding the gait belt tight enough. I gave her respect for it’s what she observed, but obviously frustrated I was so upset. I really felt like I got failed by an opinion and not that I actually failed at something. I’ve decided that when I retake the test, I am going to make sure I voice out “I am holding this gait belt tightly” so I don’t get docked by an opinion.

So on my way I went and continued to Reno to visit my best friend and godson (since I was half way there already). While in Reno a few hours later, I came across what I instantly noticed as a man who had just been hit by a car on his bicycle. Instincts kicked in, (instincts I never had before your class, and CERT). I jumped out of my friend’s car and ran for the man. I INSTANTLY got his pulse. It was faint, but he had one. A woman ran up to me and said “leave him alone, paramedics are on their way”. I put my hand up, palm open and said, “First responder, it’s ok”. I kept his pulse and talked to him, while visually examining his body. I noticed a protrusion on the left quadrant of his abdomen (which was my main concern), and a compound fracture to his left femur( with no serious bleed out).  I knew that as long as I had a pulse, there was no reason to move him till proper help arrived, so I kept talking to him and visually examining while recording pulse and respirations till help arrived. Right as I hear the ambulance and could see it in the distance, I notice him stop breathing, then the pulse was gone. I flipped him on his back and began chest compressions as the paramedics walked up and began assembling their gear. I already had a sense from my visual exam that there was some serious internal injury and most likely internal bleeding, but I had to try.

Unfortunately this gentleman’s injuries claimed his life and we lost him.  The paramedics were grateful to have another set of hands. I accepted their compliments.

That was my moment. Something clicked and I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. I watched people just pass by and look not knowing what to do, or possibly not even wanting to get involved. 3 months ago, that was me, I would have just stood there and said “what do I do?”

Because of my training I knew not only CPR, First Aid, and basic injury assessment, but more importantly in this case, that hearing is the last to go. I know he did not pass alone and that in itself made it ok for me.

I know for a fact where I need be now. I plan to continue my education. You were right about me, Kay. You saw it and didn’t even know me! I am enrolling in an EMT course come spring.

Needless to say, finding out how natural I am to utilize and want to help people has probably been the most awakening blessing I could ask for. Failing that skill earlier in the day no longer haunted my mind!

I just want to thank you so much for everything that you do! You are an amazing instructor and I really feel blessed to have had you began me on my new journey.

From the bottom of my heart, Thank You!


Hillendale’s CNA school is a tremendous program that I would recommend to anyone who is trying to become a CNA/wants a stepping stone to the nursing profession. The classes are led by Ann – an absolutely wonderful instructor who genuinely cares about her students. She has worked as a nurse for over 30 years and knows what she is talking about. The program is 7 weeks long and in that time you come out well-prepared for a job as a CNA. I highly recommend Hillendale Home Care!

Hillendale’s Certified Nurse Assistant program is hands down the best CNA certification class in the Contra Costa area. 

After touring a fair amount of CNA programs in person, I found that the vast majority of them were in isolated industrial parks and felt like “fly by night” operations.  Hillendale is the exact opposite.

The staff is incredibly approachable, personable, and understanding. Office manager, Diane Zink, goes above and beyond to answer any questions that you may have before applying to the program. 

Special thanks go to the veteran Stanford pediatric nurse, Ann Spafford, for teaching the fundamentals and safe practices of being a CNA. She brought incredible clinical insight, made classes engaging, and created a safe and supportive classroom environment. Her multi-modal approach will be an welcomed asset to those who have learning style preference or those who are neuro-divergent. She will push you to synthesize material with the intention of reinforcing patient and staff safety and proper body mechanics.

In the end, you will be well-informed in all that is in the scope of practice of a CNA. 

Classes were fast-paced, interactive, and filled with classroom exercises and current related videos. Homework is assigned daily, so be sure to stay ahead of what needs to get done beforehand. Clinical site rotations were close by in neighboring Rossmoor. You will also get more than enough clinical hours to get you comfortable for the skills portion of the CNA certification exam.

If you are looking to become a CNA, look no further than Hillendale Home Care. Ann Spafford will make the transition to becoming a CNA a rewarding and well-informed experience. It will be an investment well-spent.

I took my CNA class here. Ann is a wonderful instructor and I highly recommend taking both Ceus and CNA classes here. I feel very confident in my skills and I enjoyed the structure of the program.

I just finished the CNA class thru Hillendale and passed my state exam with flying colors. I can’t say enough good things about this program. Everyone there was friendly and helpful. The teacher Ann Spafford was the best. She was always patient, knowledgeable and energetic with a real passion for what she does! I learned so much and am very grateful for the time spent in this class. I would recommend them to anyone thinking about going into this line of work or looking to fulfill the yearly continuing education requirements.

Hillendale Home Care was the only place I wanted to go to take my CNA class. I kept checking their website, and I was finally able to take their October 2015 class! 
The student-to-teacher ratio was great, the teaching was phenomenal, and the teacher was outstanding. It’s nice and close to everything else, especially for me living in Livermore and not wanting to travel too far for a class. It’s fantastic because you’re finished with it in literally 7 WEEKS! I took the test the next day; the teaching prepares you to test right away because of so much hands-on learning both in the clinic and in the classroom.
Ann (BSN, RN, DSD, PHN) was a great teacher. She’s worked as a professional nurse for 30+ years, so I really couldn’t ask for anyone/anything better. All of the staff was helpful, too, especially with making payments easy and straightforward. 
Don’t miss out on this great school – they offer CE classes too!

– A very happy student, now in nursing school!

I received my CNA & HHA training from Hillendale. My instructors, Rhonda and Leslie, both RNs for many years are in my opinion, the best of the best. Both of them were my CNA instructors and Rhonda was my HHA instructor. Their passion, compassion, expertise and experience are evident from the very first class.

When I sat for my California exam and clinical, it was very plain to see the difference of our training versus others.  We were truly prepared  capable and very professional. I spoke with various people about their experience at other training sites, I discovered that I had lucked out by getting some of the best classroom and clinical training at the best price! The saying you get what you pay for, was totally untrue in this case. I am now a CNA and HHA and am looking forward to a career in helping provide care to seniors. I would recommend Hillendale if you are looking for training to become a CNA.

– Karen R Ireland

I recently completed Hillendale’s CNA program and passed the CNA certification exam. I felt very prepared going into the state exam thanks to Ann Spafford (instructor). I learned so much from this course that I believe will help me in my future career endeavors. Ann is a very approachable and knowledgeable teacher who not only thoroughly prepared me for the exam but shared many invaluable insights and lessons from her past experiences. This program allowed me to efficiently receive my CNA license while also enjoying the process of doing so! Highly recommend!

-Kelsey S