CNA Certification and Training in Illinois
People in Illinois who are looking for a new career should consider becoming a CNA. Certified Nursing Assistants, as their name suggests, assist nurses. They bath patients, prep rooms, clean equipment, feed patients and help patients move about. Without CNAs, the nursing field could not function. They are the foundation for all nursing.
In Illinois, the demand for CNAs is growing, and they receive a good wage for the work they perform. There are several ways one can become a Certified Nursing Assistant in Illinois. Depending upon one’s background and training, the requirements for becoming a CNA in Illinois vary. Here are the policies of the Illinois Department of Health.
- Anyone can enroll in an Illinois-approved CNA training program. After passing a written test afterwards, they will be certified. Unlike other states, Illinois does not have a skills portion of the exam.
- Nursing students, who have at least one course in nursing, can take the written exam to be a CNA. RNs and LPNs are able to work as a CNA, without taking the exam or being listed on Illinois’ CNA registry.
- Veterans who have completed a U.S. military training program that included a nurse aide training portion can take the written exam to work as a CNA.
- Any CNA in another state, who does not have any findings of abuse on his or her record and has no disqualifying convictions, can apply by reciprocity. In this case, no exam needs to be taken.
It is important to note that anyone hoping to work in a Medicare or Medicaid facility must also meet federal requirements.
In May of 2010, which is the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were more than 57,000 CNAs working in Illinois. They were employed in Illinois’ nursing homes and hospitals, and they worked as home health aides. The BLS has stated that they expect the field to grow by almost 20 percent by 2018, because the country’s aging population need personnel to care for them. In just six years, there could be over 67,000 CNAs in Illinois, all with jobs.
These CNAs, in 2010, were earning an average wage of $11.66 per hour, or slightly above $24,000 annually. Of course, the incomes of CNAs in large cities, like Chicago, are generally slightly higher than those in rural areas. Yet, regardless of where they work, CNAs in Illinois earn a fair wage. For people who want to earn even more money, there are plenty of opportunities to work overtime. Patients need care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Illinois CNAs work at stable jobs and can find work almost anywhere in the state. In a troubled economy, knowing you can provide for a family is perhaps the best benefit of being a CNA. Yet, there is also a deep sense of satisfaction with one’s job that comes from helping others. Below are more resources for people who would like to become a CNA in Illinois.
Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761