In the state of Illinois, people in search of a reliable and exciting career option can definitely opt for an option of becoming a certified nursing assistant. CNA, as the name suggests, serves to assist the nurses and doctors at times.
They work as the front line professionals in various health care and medical settings such as nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, private health care centers, public health care facilities, long-term care centers, convalescent homes, elderly care centers, etc.
Certified nursing assistants are the basis of the nursing industry without which the nurses and doctors would not be able to work.
To become a certified nurse aide, one needs to take formal classes for the same and then pass a state approved exam so that one can step into the nursing field as a CNA.
For this purpose, many high schools, technical vocational schools, community colleges, medical institutions, nursing homes, etc., do offer CNA programs which prepare the students for working as certified nursing assistants at any health care or medical setting across the nation.
They learn all the technique and manual skill sets related with the job of a certified nursing aide through the classes for certified nursing assistant. It is always recommended to enroll in an approved program.
CNA Training Requirements in Illinois
- Complete a high school diploma or an equivalent GED (general educational development) test passing proof
- Complete a state approved program of certified nursing assistant at a recognized facility
- Successfully pass the state exam; separately for technical and clinical tests
- Pass the criminal background check and produce the proof
- Produce a medical check proof
CNA Course Content & Duration in Illinois
The Illinois Department of Public Health regulates all the aspects related with certified nursing assistant training and certification.
The course program is comprised of a total duration of around 150 hours out of which 48 hours are of classroom lectures, 48 hours are of practical and the rest 48 hours are allotted to supervised clinical experience in actual clinical facilities.
This specific schedule is designed to ensure that the students get to learn the theoretical, practical and hands-on concepts.
Theory portion involves topics like basic patient care, basic science, anatomy and physiology, human body mechanism, infection control, medical terms, basic nutrition for patients, health and population education, etc.
The students learn to perform tasks like feeding patients, providing with proper medication, preparing simple dressing, bathing and grooming, helping them to stand up and move, re-positioning them whenever needed, bed making, vital signs taking, preparing health charts, reporting health updates to the doctors, etc.
The clinical skills which the students acquire during practical session are thoroughly practiced by them in the last session of actual clinical hands-on experience.
Here they work under the guidance and supervision of course instructors; and this enables them to get used to the patients, nurses and clinical environment.
The students who have completed the CNA training course work have to undergo the state approved exam. The exam is managed and regulated by the state of Illinois and is conducted in 2 parts.
First paper asks to solve multiple choice questions on theory portion and second paper asks to manually perform certain given clinical tasks. The competency skills of the students are evaluated and on passing the exam, they are certified by the Illinois Department of Health.
Passing in the competency test shows that they are now eligible to work professionally as certified nursing assistants.
Once they get through this exam, they are certified and get their names listed on the state’s nurse aide registry.
They also become eligible to apply for the CNA license. It allows them to work anywhere across the state, at any facility.
CNA Reciprocity in Illinois
If one is already working as a certified nursing assistant in some other state and then want to get shifted to Illinois for job, then they do not have to reapply for any training or exam or license. They just need to transfer all the previous credentials to this state so that the license gets transferred and they can start working.
This is done under the reciprocity policy of the this state. Those who apply for this reciprocity just need to be in touch with the nurse aide registry of both the states; previous state and the new state.
However, the license is valid for only a limited period which is usually of 2 years. The candidates have to renew and verify their license at regular intervals of 2 years.
Renewal prevents the expiry of license; while verification keeps updating the working status of the candidates on the nurse aide registry of the state.
The license can be kept active by continuing the professional nursing practice for any time span within the duration of past 2 years.
In the state of Illinois, there are various trainings for certified nursing aide and various employment opportunities too.