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CNA Training in Illinois

Illinois has repeatedly proved throughout its history that it can break barriers. It is the home of the first aquarium, the world’s first skyscraper and the first McDonald’s. Today, it is known for being the site of one of the largest cities in the United States, which is Chicago. This progressive state is politically active and progressive, and healthcare is just one area in which it strives for excellence. CNAs here have a wonderful chance to better themselves, either by serving their patients or by furthering their educations. This state of 12.9 million is home to 189 hospitals and nearly 99,000 nursing homes where CNAs can find jobs.

About Illinois

– Capital: Springfield
– Minimum Wage: $8.25
– Number of Hospitals: 189
– Number of Nursing Homes: 98,883


– Total Population: 12,880,580
– Population (ages 45-64): 3,390,662
– Population (ages 65+): 1,788,533
– Population (ages 85+): 256,052

Top Colleges & Unversities

– Northwestern University
– University of Chicago
– University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in IL

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

CNA Programs and the CNA registry are controlled by the Illinois Department of Health and the state’s Health Care Workers Registry. To begin CNA training, students must be at least 16 years old, must have completed eighth grade and must speak and read English. However, they do not have to have a driver’s license or a high school diploma. They will need to have a physical completed by a physician to ensure that they are up to the physical work that CNAs must perform, such as spending long hours on the feet and being able to lift 40 pounds. They will also need up-to-date immunizations and a negative tuberculosis screening. In addition, they will need to pass a criminal background check with a clean record and have fingerprints on file. Some training programs may require students to have a CPR card before beginning.

The training itself consists of classroom and clinical training. Altogether, Illinois students must have 120 hours, but 40 of these hours must be in a hands-on clinical setting. In addition, the state requires at least 12 hours of training in dementia.

A few groups of people may be exempt from training. For example, a current nurse with an Illinois license does not need to train or test before working as a CNA. Nursing students who have completed at least 40 clinical hours as well as a basic nursing class can skip training as can those who have received equivalent training in the U.S. military.

The Illinois Department of Health has the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale administer the CNA examinations although the tests are held at a variety of regional sites. The fee for the entire examination is $65 initially. Those who have failed and need to retest will only need to pay $35 if they retest within a year from the initial testing date. Those who wait more than a year will need to pay the full fee.

Illinois uses a written competency examination to test CNAs’ knowledge. A manual skills test is only required for those who recertify after letting the license expire. The examination is in English. However, CNA applicants who will be working at a facility that has more than 50 percent of its residents who speak another language can request a translated examination for an additional fee of $45. The test covers the six broad areas of CNA tasks covered in Illinois, including communication information, performing basic restorative skills, performing basic nursing skills, performing personal care skills, providing mental health and providing residents’ rights and social service needs

Applicants have up to three attempts to pass the examination before needing to retrain. Those who pass will receive their unofficial results in the mail within two to three weeks. The score is based on a pass/fail method rather than on a percentage. Illinois CNAs do not have an actual certificate or license number. Instead, they will be listed on the Illinois registry using their social security numbers.

Those moving to Illinois from out-of-state may be able to transfer their CNA certifications to Illinois. Applicants must have worked for pay as a CNA within the past 24 months and must have an active, clean license with no findings of patient abuse, maltreatment or neglect. Applicants must fill out the reciprocity application and send it to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Department will then send applicants a fingerprint card that they must have completed at a registered facility. After the fingerprint card is returned, the Department will notify applicants within two to three weeks as to whether or not they are accepted or if they need to retest in Illinois. The process is free.

Illinois CNAs who work continuously for pay performing nursing-related tasks do not have to worry about renewing their certifications. However, those who do not work for pay as CNAs for 24 months will need either to retrain and retest or to retest only. In this case, the standard testing fee of $65 will apply for the written competency test. Individuals who forego a second training course and instead choose only to test will need to complete a manual competency test by demonstrating CNA-related tasks in front of a nurse aide evaluator. Those who retrain will not need to take the manual skills evaluation at a community college or other regional testing site.


Illinois Board of Nursing
Illinois Nurses Aide Registry
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Health Care Worker Registry
525 W. Jefferson St., Fourth Floor
Springfield , IL 62761
Phone: 844-789-3676
Email: [email protected]

Employment Information for Illinois

Average Salary for CNAs in IL

CNAs make approximately $4,000 less per year than the average individual in Illinois does. This is based on an income per capita of $29,666 and an average CNA salary of $25,260. However, CNAs who work in and around the Chicago area often make much more than this with an average annual salary around $31,000. CNAs here can expect to make approximately $12.14 hourly, but this may be affected by areas served and years of experience.

Job Outlook in IL

Currently, Illinois has 61,320 jobs for CNAs located throughout the numerous nursing homes, hospitals and other long-term care facilities in the state. CNAs most often serve the over-65 age group, which totals 1.8 million as of 2014. However, looking ahead, Illinois CNAs have great opportunities for job growth as the 3.4 million residents between the ages of 45 and 65 age and need increased skilled care.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in IL
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
Northwestern Memorial Hospital251 East Huron StreetChicagoIL60611312-926-2000Website
Rush University Medical Center1653 West Congress ParkwayChicagoIL60612312-942-5000Website
Loyola University Medical Center2160 South First AvenueMaywoodIL60153708-216-9000Website
University Of Chicago Medical Center5841 South Maryland AvenueChicagoIL60637773-702-1000Website
Advocate Christ Medical Center4440 West 95th StreetOak LawnIL60453708-684-8000Website
Northwestern Medicine Central Dupage Hospital25 North Winfield RoadWinfieldIL60190630-933-1600Website
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital1775 Dempster StreetPark RidgeIL60068847-723-2210Website
St. Alexius Medical Center1555 Barrington RoadHoffman EstatesIL60169847-843-2000Website
Northshore Evanston Hospital1301 Central StreetEvanstonIL60201847-570-2000Website
Alexian Brothers Medical Center800 Biesterfield RoadElk Grove VillageIL60007847-437-5500Website
Centegra Hospital-Mchenry4201 Medical Center DriveMcHenryIL60050815-344-5000Website
Riverside Medical Center350 North Wall StreetKankakeeIL60901815-933-1671Website
Edward Hospital801 South Washington StreetNapervilleIL60540630-527-3000Website
Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital450 West Highway 22BarringtonIL60010847-381-0123Website
Carle Foundation Hospital611 West Park StreetUrbanaIL61801217-383-3311Not Available
Elmhurst Memorial Hospital155 East Brush Hill RoadElmhurstIL60126331-221-1000Website
Northwest Community Healthcare800 West Central RoadArlington HeightsIL60005847-618-1000Website
Memorial Medical Center701 North First StreetSpringfieldIL62781217-788-3000Website
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital120 North Oak StreetHinsdaleIL60521630-856-9000Website
Advocate Sherman Hospital1425 North Randall RoadElginIL60123847-742-9800Website

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