CNA Classes in Illinois
The growing demand for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in Illinois has attracted many candidates wishing to work in the rapidly growing healthcare field. CNAs provide crucial support to doctors and nurses, and play a critical role as support staff in hospitals, nursing homes and various healthcare facilities.
Individuals interested in a career as a CNA in the state of Illinois, must attend an approved CNA training program, so be able to sit for the competency exam and to be listed on the Illinois Nurse Aide Registry.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) approves and regulates CNA training programs offered by American Red Cross, state universities, community colleges, nursing schools and many healthcare facilities and other educational facilities, as well as online CNA programs or distance learning courses that meet all applicable federal and state regulatory requirements. Additional, some employers provide free on-the-job training, in exchange the employment for a specified period of time upon completing training and certification. These free CNA classes are usually available through long-term care centers and assisted living nursing homes, which will even pay for the certification exam.
CNAs always work under the supervision of an RN or physician and the responsibilities and duties to be performed may vary with the employer. Main duties include providing basic nursing care and monitoring of patients, feeding, taking care of hygiene, toileting, bathing, dressing, making beds, taking vital signs, transfer of patients, administering medication, record keeping, proper operating and maintaining medical equipment, etc.
CNA Training Requirements in Illinois
An applicant for enrolling in an approved CNA training program should be at least 16 years old; also most facilities require a high school diploma or GED certificate, a TB test report of last 6 months and immunization’s proof, as well as clean criminal record before admission to the program.
The Illinois Department of Public Health requires that approved CNA programs offer a minimum of 120 hours of instruction, which includes 80 hours of theoretical instruction and 40 hours of clinical practice. The curriculum is divided into CNA courses modules which include, among others:
- Basic patient health care
- Safety precautions
- Body functioning
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Patients rights
- Infection control
- CPR certification
- Rehabilitation procedures
- Basic anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Taking and recording patients’ vital signs including pulse, blood pressure, respiration rate
- Handling and maintaining medical equipment
Illinois approves several training programs that aspiring CNA’s should take in order to become certified. Although there are no online programs available, numerous facilities within the state offer CNA training programs.
The classes generally last for 6 to 12 weeks and the cost is between $400 – $1700 as some programs are more expensive than others. Try to check the facility whether you can pay the tuition by working right after you pass the exam and get certified.
CNA Certfication in Illinois
As soon as you are finished with the training, your next step is to take and pass the exam. There are websites online that can help you identify where to take the exam. You simply have to enter the zip code and see the closest sites. If you wished to take a practice test, these websites can give you that.
Candidates are required to qualify for the competency exam within 24 months from completing an approved CNA training program. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIU-C) administers the written portion of the competency exam at various sites throughout the state and unlike other states clinical test is not required.
The exam, which is administered in English, can be taken three times before retraining is required, and is comprised of multiple-choice questions based and it will measure your skills and knowledge on resident rights, patients with social service needs and mental health, restorative skills, giving personal care, basic nursing skills and communicating information. Two weeks after the exam, you will receive a pass or fail results. During the exam, you have to bring two number 2 lead pencils having erasers and a photo ID issued by the state.
CNA licenses in the state of Illinois issued by Illinois Nurse Aide Testing Program as required by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and must be renewed every two years. The licensing procedures are governed by the federal regulations stated under OBRA Act of 1987. The exam fee usually cost $60 and $30 for retaking the written test.
Once you passed the exam, you can apply for certification. Make sure that you completed all the necessary requirements and you have a clean criminal record so that you are allowed to apply. Successful completion of the test places the candidate into the Illinois Nurse Aide Registry that maintains a database of certified nursing assistants working in the state.
Hundreds of healthcare related job openings are available in Illinois these days and if you are a Certified Nursing Assistant, you will surely get a job right away. This career is very stable and you can even proceed to Nursing or Medicine if you want to be a Registered Nurse or a Physician. It is projected that the healthcare industry will grow to 28% over the coming years.
CNA Salary and Job Outlook in Illinois
CNA Salary in Illinois
Even though the unemployment rate in the state of Illinois continues to rise, the healthcare industry is growing and it can provide a stable job for individuals who would like to start their career as CNAs.
Nursing assistants earning their certification in the state of Illinois enjoy a wide range of employment opportunities, and as the country’s aging population need personnel to care for them, the demand for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) is growing; they also receive a good CNA salary for the work they perform.
The CNA salary in Illinois ranges from $20,000 a year to $31,000 a year, but for those who want to earn even more money, there are plenty of opportunities to work overtime, as there are patients that need care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The average CNA salary in Illinois is $26, 080, which is higher in bigger cities like Chicago and lower in rural areas.
CNAs perform an extremely important job in the healthcare field and there are many career opportunities available in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in state of Illinois, including the Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, Lincoln Park Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
- Illinois State Board of Nursing
- Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
- Illinois Nurse Aide Testing Program
- Illinois Nurse Aide Registry
- Illinois Nurses Association (INA)
- Illinois Association of School Nurses (IASN)
- Student Nurses Association of Illinois (SNAI)
- Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC)
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