CNA Classes in Illinois (Top Schools)

Illinois map

In Illinois, you can become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • Completed a state-approved CNA training program
  • Graduated from a nursing arts course
  • Underwent a U.S. military training program that has a nurse aide training program
  • Registered as a CNA in another state
  • In the case of a foreign-trained nurse:
    • Completed a nursing program equivalent to an LPN or RN in a foreign country
    • The Health Care Worker Registry (HCWR) confirms that the training they took has met Illinois’s training requirements
    • Has yet to take the licensure exam

Taking on a CNA Training Program in Illinois

Aspiring CNAs will take the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program (BNAT Program).

Its curriculum delivers the standards and procedures of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

The BNAT Program will teach you the know-how of providing excellent patient care.

You will spend 120 hours of training, comprising of:

  • 80 hours of classroom learning and laboratory work
  • 40 hours of clinical instruction

All in all, this course will require three to 16 weeks of dedicated training.

The following are some of the approved CNA schools that you can consider enrolling into:

16 CNA Schools in Illinois

School NameAddress
A Plus Healthcare TrainingSt. Charles, IL 60174
Black Hawk CollegeMoline, IL 61265
Bloomington Career CenterBloomington, IL 61701
Career Center of Southern IllinoisRed Bud, IL 62278
Decatur Public School No, 61 - Adult Education and Training CenterDecatur, IL 62523
Five County Regional Vocational SystemsTamms, IL 62988
Illinois Institute of Nursing StudiesRockford, IL 61107
International Career InstituteLincolnwood, IL
JCM InstituteSchaumburg, IL 60173
Jethro Health Care School and Placement ServicesDes Plaines, IL 60016
Joliet Junior CollegeJoliet, IL 60433
Lewis and Clark Community CollegeGodfrey, IL 62035
Moraine Valley Community CollegePalos Hills, IL 60465
Parkland CollegeChampaign, IL 61821
Tukiendorf Training InstituteChicago, IL 60656
Urbana Adult EducationStreet Springfi­eld, IL 62702

Evaluating a CNA Candidate

After you’ve completed the BNAT Program, the training facility will submit your credentials to testing centers for the Illinois Nurse Aide Competency Exam (INACE).

This competency exam covers the following:

  • 21 mandated manual/clinical skills test
  • Written test

The skills test will be done either at:

  • The training facility where you received education
  • A state-approved skills testing center

Meanwhile, the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (SIU-C) will administer the written test.

Wait for an email from them for instructions on your eligibility to take INACE and how to book your place for it.

You have a choice to take the exam as a paper-based test (PBT) or a computer-based test (CBT).

To prepare yourself more, it’s best to visit SIU-C’s Nurse Aide Testing website for the practice exams and study guides.

Conditional exam results will be posted and sent to you by email.

  • PBT – 10 business days
  • CBT – 3 business days

SIU-C will transmit the test results to the HCWR electronically.

Then, after another 10 business days, the official results will be published at https://hcwrpub.dph.illinois.gov/Search.aspx.

Do note that you have 12 months after CNA program completion to pass the INACE.

You also have three attempts to take the competency exam.

If you still fail after that, then you must undergo retraining again.

Allowable Exemptions to INACE Takers

Illinois will accept competency exam equivalents from the following people:

  • Candidates under reciprocity agreements
  • Those listed in other states’ Nurse Aide Registry
  • Foreign-trained nurses
  • Military trained medical nurses

They must provide IDPH HCWR with proper documentation, which will be under review and approval.

Once approved, they will then take the written test in order to be CNAs in Illinois.

Translation of the Written Test

SIU-C understands that some CNA candidates will work in areas with non-native English speakers.

So they can translate the test only if you work in facilities where more than half of the residents speak another language.

However, the available allowable languages are only Arabic, Greek, and Spanish.

Other languages will have to wait for three to six months to receive approval to translate.

To request a translated test, you will submit a letter from the training facility administrator.

This will let SIU-C confirm your employment and the primary language in your area.

SIU-C Written Test Fees

SIU-C provides the breakdown of testing fees for INACE written test takers.

  • Initial exam – $75
  • Retake exam – $75
  • No show or reschedule – $45
  • Translated exam fee – $125

Note that the translated exam fee will be added to the applicable exam fee.

So if you want a translated initial exam, you will pay $200.

Potential Salary

A CNA’s salary in Illinois varies, depending on a number of factors:

  • Level of skills
  • Extensive experience
  • Nature of work

Currently, the average annual salary amounts to $32,483.

Here are the salaries across the state.

Annual Salary Range:
$39K
$32K
$35K

Average Salary of CNAs in Illinois

City NameSalary
Chicago$33,526
Rockford$31,309
Aurora$33,230
Naperville$32,848
Peoria$30,550
Springfield$29,193
Joliet$32,578
Elgin$32,987
Waukegan$31,618
Cicero$33,526
* Salary information last updated 2022

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