Patient Care Technician Certificate


The Patient Care Technician Program is a two-semester certificate designed to prepare competent health care team members with the fundamental tools necessary to begin a career in entry-level health care. This Program provides opportunities for students to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to function in a health care team and provide professional care. Patient Care Technician receive direction and supervision from other health professionals, including, but not limited to, nurses and physicians.


Patient Care Technicians work mainly in hospitals and outpatient clinics. Most work will consist of 8-hour or 12-hour shifts, and may include evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. Work consists primarily of personal care to individuals such as bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, as well as advanced skills such as ECG and phlebotomy. If you are considering this field, you must be able to accurately record and report information, maintain confidentiality, and present and calm and professional demeanor to patients, families, and co-workers. Please refer to Essential Skills & Abilities list to determine if you are able to meet these functions with or without reasonable accommodations.


Employment of Patient Care Technicians is projected to grow 11% from 2016-2026, faster than average for all occupations. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Annual salary for entry-level workers start around $23,067. Mid-level pay is $31,805 per year. Highly experienced workers can earn up to $45,681. (State of Illinois averages)


Carl Sandburg College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools - Higher Learning Commission, 30 LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504.

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

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

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:


Upon successful completion of NUA.105, the student will be eligible to take the Nursing Assistant certification examination.


Students will be required to show proof of TB test, criminal background check, and CPR and the Health Care Provider level. Students are responsible for all fees incurred, in addition to tuition. Please refer to the Health Care Assistant cost sheet. Please note that findings on the criminal background check may prevent entrance into the Program.


All applicants interested in the health care assistant program must meet in person with a Carl Sandburg College program advisor prior to applying to the program. Be sure to make an appointment early in the process.

  1. Complete application to Carl Sandburg College
  2. Send official high school transcript or equivalent and any post-secondary education transcripts to the Admissions and Records Office.
  3. Complete college placement exam.
  4. Schedule an appointment and meet with a nursing advisor prior to applying.


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

Program Requirements

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


There is a required one-hour orientation for the face to face Nursing Assistant course, and a required three-hour orientation for the blended Nursing Assistant 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.


In accordance with the Health Care Worker Background Check all students applying for the Basic Nursing Assistant course must complete a LiveScan criminal background check prior to the start of the course 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 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.


Individuals with disqualifying conviction, 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 IL Adms. Coe 955 Section 955.160. A student may visit the website at to see the disqualifying conviction. If a student requires a waiver, then the student must obtain the waiver before applying to the Program. A waiver can be obtained at the following link:, or by contacting IDPH for further information: Illinois Department of Public Health, 535 W. Jefferson Street, Springfield, IL 62761, phone: (217)785-5133 or fax: (217) 524-0137.


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 by the Health Care Worker Background Check Act with no disqualifying convictions
  • Have no administrative findings 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 licensed practical nurse or registered nurse.
  • Have successfully completed an Illinois approved CNA training program.
  • Pass a written competency test.
  • Pass a manual skills test.


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 and Health Professions 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.


All students are required to demonstration 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.