CNA Classes in Illinois

As of 2010, more than 50,000 CNAs were already working in various health care facilities and private homes in Illinois, earning around $11 per hour or more than $22,000 per year. Those who are working in metropolitan locations such as Chicago, Joliet and Rockford receive a much higher salary. All state CNAs moreover, tend to enjoy a more stable job outlook compared to many other professions. To start your career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, first, start by enrolling in one of the many CNA classes in Illinois state.

Individuals living in the Prairie State who seek to start a career as a certified nurse aide or CNA should first enroll in one of many CNA classes in Illinois. Home to more than 12 million people, the state of Illinois has 12.09 percent of its population represented by citizens 65 years old and above. This figure is expected to go up within the next five years as people from the 60 to 64-year-old age bracket advance to the next age level, demonstrating an aging population where a significant percentage live in nursing homes and other similar facilities. This is where aspiring CNAs get to play a crucial role.

CNA Training Requirements

Training programs for nursing aides are being offered regularly by various community colleges, high schools, vocational training centers, community centers, and other similar institutions operating in Illinois. State-accepted CNA classes in Illinois, however, tend to vary, with some offering 7-hour credit programs while others provide only 6 hours of credit, but with an additional six days of clinical training lasting 8 hours daily. Meanwhile, a facility-sponsored training program in Chicago typically offers 94 hours of classroom-based lectures with an extra 49 hours worth of clinical training in a given healthcare facility.

CNA Training in Illinois

Illinois has very simple requirements for those who want to become CNAs. They need only 40 hours of clinical work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse. After they have complied with this, they are already eligible to take the competency exam and be certified. Those who pass are then added to the state’s nurse aide registry. On the other hand, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses who like to work as CNAs are no longer required to take the test but are instead included in the database. They can also keep their work while enrolled in a CNA training.

Virtually all programs, however, combine classroom and clinical work. A typical Illinois CNA program covers topics such as vital signs, personal care, anatomy and psychology, and medical terms. The most recommended schools are those approved by the state’s department of public health.

The entire program normally runs for a few weeks and divided into a couple of hours every week. Students can choose between daytime and nighttime classes. They also have the option to enroll in weekend schedules. CNA students are expected to possess proficiency in English writing, speaking, and reading. Thus, some schools require their applicants to take the COMPASS test before they are accepted into the program. Those who fail the exam are advised to take English-centric courses or undergo training, then retake the examination.

Veterans are no longer required to enroll in a CNA program provided they had already received such while still on active duty. They only need to complete the written test.

CNA Classes in Illinois:

Blackhawk College, Moline

Students can enter the Basic Nurse Assistant Training program at Blackhawk College, Moline to prepare them for the Illinois certification exam. A wide range of studies is presented over this 8-week course including nursing theory, Alzheimer study, and CPR training. A typical course load also consists of 80 hours of classroom instruction mixed with 40 hours of clinical training.

Danville Area Community College

The CNA classes in Illinois through Danville Area Community College will fully prepare a student for a nursing career. Included in this 7-week class are 90 hours of classroom evaluation to learn the job description and tasks expected of a nursing assistant. Hands-on education comes in the form of 2 weeks of supervised clinicals with registered nurses. DACC also offers a 1-hour course on the full details of a CNA career to determine if the student is fully aware of the job duties.

Elgin Community College

Students wishing to learn all the basics of a nursing assistant’s duties in a short time can take a look at Elgin Community College’s Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program. Even though the course is only 7 hours, by the end students will learn about nursing safety, hygiene, nutrition, infection control and how to develop interpersonal relationships. Also, after completion students will be prepared to sit in on the nurse assistant competency exam in an attempt to gain certification.

Harold Washington College

Students who take CNA classes in Illinois at the Harold Washington College will benefit from a small class size that offers personal instruction. The basic nursing assistant program is licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health and after successful completion, students will be eligible for employment as a healthcare assistant. The course stems 10 credit hours on the basics of patient care and is conveniently located in the heart of Chicago in the downtown district.

Certification Exam

Individuals who pass the CNA training course in Illinois are eligible to take the state competency examinations. Compared to other states, however, the Illinois competency exam does not have a clinical component; hence, a written test is the only thing that you need to pass.

CNA home study and online training programs are also available in Illinois, but the Illinois Department of Public Health has issued reminders to aspiring nursing aides currently taking up the program through these alternative means. Presently, the state of Illinois does not recognize the validity of these training programs; thus graduates cannot use them to gain CNA certification and work as nursing assistants anywhere in the state. The general recommendation is to settle for state-approved CNA classes so that training and certification-related problems can be avoided.

Free CNA Classes in Illinois

Commonly CNAs do not receive their training directly from Illinois nursing homes. Rather, these healthcare facilities partner with community colleges and vocational schools with approved programs. You can inquire from Modern Care Convalescent, Monmouth Nursing Home, Cahokia Nursing, and Rehab Center, St. Clara’s Manor, and Camelot Terrace if they provide “free” training for their CNAs.

For those who have just graduated high school, they can receive financial assistance from Joliet Job Corps. The agency gives free CNA training to qualified applicants, along with free board and lodging and regular meals. They also help graduates land a job and even move to another state.

Scholarships such as the CNA scholarship of the City Colleges of Chicago are also available for CNA students. In the said scholarship, you can receive $1,000 assistance, which can be used to cover tuition fees of any CNA program approved by the state.

Job Expectations

In any case, if you are interested in becoming a nursing aide or assistant in Illinois, the good news is that you stand to earn an average of $4,250 in annual wages. In addition, you can get to enjoy the company of at least 57,000 other people working in the health care industry of Illinois either as nursing assistants, attendants, or orderlies.

However, in order to enjoy such privileges, you first need to enroll in good Illinois training institutions where CNA training in Illinois will afford you the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of becoming an effective nursing aide. In this regard, you can try looking at schools where certificate programs for nurse assistants can include a classroom training component that focuses on such topics as nutrition, patient care, record-keeping, and even a detailed look into certain diseases like Alzheimer’s.


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