How to Become a CNA in Illinois
A CNA, or certified nursing assistant, is a rewarding job for those who enjoy helping others and are looking to work in the healthcare field.
These workers assist patients with basic needs like eating, bathing, and grooming.
Education and Training
The state of Illinois requires that a person obtain the proper education before they’re qualified to get a job as a CNA. Students will need to complete a CNA training program which will require 80 hours of in-classroom education and 40 hours of clinical practice, for a total of 120 hours.
During your education to become a certified nursing assistant, you can expect to cover the following topics:
- Patient Transport and Movement
- Restorative Services
- Interpersonal Skills
- Workplace Safety
- Basic Nursing Care
- Infection Control
- Personal Care & Hygiene
How Much Does It Cost?
Want to know how much it costs to become a CNA in the state of Illinois? A certified nursing assistant program can vary in price depending on which community college, trade school, or CNA program you attend. However, some CNA programs can cost as little as under 1k, while others may cost over 2k, not including the cost of books and materials.
Earning a Certification
Those who wish to work as a certified nursing assistant in the state of Illinois must obtain a certification from an accredited institution.
CNA Written Competency Exam
Once you have completed the necessary hours, you will then need to take the CNA Written Competency Exam. This test consists of 200 tasks which are grouped into six different categories.
The exam has 70 multiple-choice questions that you must complete, followed by a skills examination. The skills examination requires you to complete five random CNA skills within a 25-minute time period.
Attending a CNA Certification Program
If you’re looking to become a CNA in IL, attending a CNA certification program is an important step in the process. State-certified programs provide individuals with the knowledge and training necessary to thrive in their roles. These classes give students the chance to gain hands-on experience under the guidance of industry professionals.
How Long Does It Take?
The time it takes to graduate from a CNA program in the state of Illinois will largely depend on which program you choose. Illinois trade schools and vocational colleges offer CNA courses that students can complete over several months. Some specialized nursing schools also offer accelerated programs that individuals can finish in as little as three weeks.
Illinois CNA Requirements
In order to become a CNA in Illinois, an individual must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Have up-to-date immunization records
- Have completed at least eight years of grade school
- Pass a criminal background check
- Pass the Written Competency Test
- Graduate from a state-certified CNA program
CNA Salaries in IL
Being a certified nursing assistant can be a rewarding as well as profitable profession. Those eager to join the field should be aware that a CNA salary in Illinois can differ depending on factors like region, the type of workplace they’re employed at, and the amount of experience they have.
Some salaries that you may be able to earn as a certified nursing assistant in IL are:
- Chicago $38,094
- Joliet $37,127
- Rockford $35,563
- Skokie $38,080
- Des Plaines $37,993
A certified nursing assistant has an important job in the daily care of patients. CNAs provide patient care and help with basic needs such as eating, grooming, bathing, and exercise. These workers often find employment in places like nursing homes, hospitals, retirement homes, and they can even offer home healthcare services in a patient’s residence.
What Do They Do?
Tasks that a certified nursing assistant can be responsible for are:
- Attending to the wants and needs of patients
- Helping patients with routine tasks like eating, bathing, and dressing
- Observing and recording a patient’s vitals and condition
- Monitor food and liquid intake of patients
- Updating a patient’s care team on changes in their condition
- Answering call buttons when patients need something
- Alert nurses to any issues that patient may be experiencing
- Reposition patients in their beds
- Help to lift patients from their bed or wheelchair to exam or surgical table
Individuals hoping to obtain a career as a certified nursing assistant should know that jobs are expected to increase in the foreseeable future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, experts predict that there will be a rise of CNA jobs of about five percent from 2021-2031, a growth of around 220,000 new jobs per year. This will also mean that CNA jobs in Illinois will increase, too.
The rise in jobs is expected to happen for a variety of reasons. The demand for CNAs will increase in part due to the baby-boomer generation aging and needing more medical attention and treatment. Other reasons will likely include the retirement of older workers and some individuals leaving the field to pursue other jobs.