Nursing Assistant (CNA)

This course will provide the student with the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behaviors) necessary to perform basic patient care in a variety of healthcare settings. It prepares the student to function in the role of nursing assistant under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). This course meets the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines for Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program (BNATP) curriculum. This course is highly recommended for students interested in a nursing career or wanting an entry-level position in the health care field. Coursework includes development of basic nursing skills through lecture, simulation skills laboratory, and supervised clinical experiences at a long-term health care facility. After students successfully complete the Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program (BNATP), they are eligible to take the State Nursing Aide Competency Exam. Upon passing the Nurse Aide Competency Examination, students are added to the Healthcare Worker Registry, and then can be employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)


Mission and Philosophy

The mission and philosophy encompasses the student, the person, and the environment.  Our program prepares a student to sit for the Illinois State certification exam for Basic Nursing Assistants, and be added to the Illinois Healthcare Worker Registry for Certified Nursing Assistants upon successfully passing the state exam.


The student will conduct themselves in a professional manner, communicate effectively and acquire skills necessary to provide holistic care and as a qualified member of the healthcare team. The student’s learning experience will promote a desire for individual lifelong education.


The client can expect that the student Nursing Assistant will comply with all requirements within their educational scope of practice.  The student will practice within the parameters of strict Medical Asepsis, Patient/Resident Rights and Safety at all times.  The student will preserve dignity and worth regardless of race, sex, color or creed.  The student will provide/help maintain the highest quality of life and comfort level of all clients.  The student will function within the legal and ethical guidelines to provide holistic care.



Professional Regulation:

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is the regulating agency for Basic Nursing Assistant Training Programs.  IDPH may be contacted as follows:

Illinois Department of Public Health, Nurse Aide Registry Information, 525 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62761; (217) 785-5133

Illinois Department of Public Health located at 535 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62761; (217) 782-4977


Resource Information:

Southern Illinois University of Carbondale (SIUC) is contracted to manage and administer the Nursing Assistant state exam. SIUC has developed a website for students, faculty, and administrators seeking information: 

The site offers students:

  • Access to an online practice exam
  • Access to information regarding testing locations and dates
  • Access to skills video (covers all the manual skills required for certification)
  • Exam status
  • Registration for state exam


Course Offering

The basic nursing assistant course is offered in a face-to-face format and a blended format.  The blended format consists of online theory and face-to-face lab and clinical.


Becoming a Basic Nursing Assistant Instructor


Each course instructor shall be a registered nurse with a minimum of two years nursing

experience, who has no other duties while engaged in the training program. An Instructor

shall be required to have one year of experience as a registered nurse in one or both of the

following areas:

  • Teaching an accredited nurse's training program.
  • Caring for the elderly or for the chronically ill of any age through employment in a nursing facility, extended care unit, geriatrics department, chronic care unit, hospice, swing bed unit of a hospital, or other long-term care setting.


If a registered nurse meets the qualifications, then the registered nurse can sign up for a train-the-trainer course by visiting, click on the heading of courses and select a course to take.  A registered nurse has to meet the qualifications to be able to take a train-the-trainer course.  The train-the-trainer course may be taken face-to-face or online.  The other portion of the training is completing the evaluator workshop, which is completed in a face-to-face format.

Essential Skills

The Student Must Be Able to:

  • be on your feet for extended (5-8 hours) of time and perform activities that include reaching, balancing, carrying, pushing, pulling, stooping, bending and crouching;
  • lift and transfer adults from a lying to a sitting position to accomplish bed to chair and chair to bed transfers; must be able to lift a minimum of 25 pounds.
  • adjust positions of bedridden patients, including lifting, with appropriate help, toward the head of the bed;
  • physically apply up to ten pounds of pressure to bleeding sites or to the chest for CPR using hands, wrists and arms;
  • maneuver in small spaces quickly and with ease;
  • perform fine motor skills that require hand eye coordination in the use of small instruments, and equipment;
  • feel and compress tissues to assess for size, shape, texture, and temperature;
  • visually read calibrated scales
  • perform close and distinct visual activities involving persons and paper work;
  • visually discriminate depth and possess color perception;
  • identify and distinguish odors, products of infection or metabolic imbalance (e.g. ketones)
  • respond and react immediately to auditory instructions, requests, signals, and monitoring equipment;
  • perform auditory assessments requiring the distinguishing of various sounds (tone, pitches)
  • learn to perform mathematical calculation in a timely manner for intake and output and dietary percentages;
  • learn to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, using appropriate grammar, vocabulary, and word usage as well as medical terminology;
  • comprehend verbal and written directions, making corrections and responding as directed;

make proper and timely decisions under stressful and emergency situations.


Program Requirements

Carl Sandburg College does not discriminate in its educational programs against a person because race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, disability, military status, sexual orientation, or unfavorable discharge from military service.


There is a required one-hour orientation for the face to face course, and a three-hour orientation for the blended course.  This required orientation will be held approximately two to four weeks prior to the start of the course. The student will be notified of the orientation date and time when registering for the course.

Background Check

In accordance with the Health Care Worker Background Check all students applying for the Basic Nursing Assistant course/program must complete a LiveScan criminal background check prior to the start of the course/program by a designated agent and at a designated time as determined by the College of Nursing and Health Professions.  Arrangements will be made by the College of Nursing and Health Professions personnel to have the LiveScan fingerprinting completed.

 All students will be notified in writing at least two weeks prior to the date for the LiveScan to be completed.

Students who do not complete the Background check in the designated time will be dropped from the Program for noncompliance of requirements.

Disqualifying Convictions:

Individuals with disqualifying convictions, as listed in the act, are prohibited from working for a health care employer unless a waiver has been granted by the Department of Public Health.  Disqualifying convictions are in accordance with the Health Care Worker Background Check Act (225 ILCS 46) and 77 ILL Adm. Code 955 Section 955.160.  A student may visit the website at to see the disqualifying convictions.  If a student requires a waiver, then a student would need to obtain a waiver before applying for the program.  A waiver can be obtained at the following link, , or by contacting IDPH for further information: Illinois Department of Public Health, 535 West Jefferson Street, Springfield, Illinois  62761, phone 217-785-5133 or fax:  217-524-0137.

State and Federal Requirements

Individuals must meet prior to being listed on the registry as an Illinois CNA or prior to working as an Illinois CNA in a licensed long-term care facility.

  • Have a criminal history records check as prescribed the Health Care Worker Background Check Act with no disqualifying convictions.
  • Have no administrative finding of abuse, neglect or misappropriated property in Illinois or any other state.
  • Must be at least 16 years of age, of temperate habits and good moral character, honest, reliable and trustworthy.
  • Must be able to speak and understand English or a language understood by a substantial percentage of a facility’s residents.
  • Must provide evidence of prior employment or occupation, if any, and residence for two years prior to present employment as a nursing assistant.
  • Must have completed at least eight (8) years of grade school or provide proof of equivalent knowledge.
  • Must not work as an Illinois CNA until the registry shows that the individual has met the training requirements.
  • Prior to any direct contact with a resident, must complete a specified 16 hours of classroom training in a state-approved CNA training program.
  • Nursing assistant students should not perform any duties for which they have not been trained and found to be proficient by an Instructor.
  • Students providing services to residents must do so under the general supervision of a license practical nurse or a registered nurse.
  • Have successfully completed an Illinois approved CNA training program.
  • Pass a written competency test (Beginning January 1996, the written competency test became a requirement to be a CNA).
  • Pass a manual skills test.
TB Test (Mantoux)

All students are required to have a 2-step TB (Mantoux) test prior to the start of class.  Please allow time for both steps, as there must be a 7-14 day waiting period between tests.  Please turn this form into the College of nursing in person or by mailing it to the address given in the letter you will receive prior to the start of the course or you will not be able to enter the course/program due to noncompliance with requirements for entry.

Health Care Provider CPR

All students are required to demonstrate completion of CPR at the Health Care Provider Level.  A CPR class will be scheduled during the semester of the course.  This is mandatory and part of the 8 semester hours of the course.  The student will be dropped for noncompliance of requirements if the student does not complete the CPR class when scheduled.