If you've decided to pursue a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, and live in the Chicago area, you're in luck. In and around the city, you'll find a wide variety of CNA programs offered by local community colleges, technical schools, and universities. Many are located right in the city itself while others are in the suburbs. The vast majority offer day and evening classes, and some incorporate a little online learning to make things even easier for busy, working adults. Learn about the popular CNA programs in Chicago to more easily find an option that works for you.
6 Popular CNA Programs In Chicago
Whether you're looking for something that is right in the city or prefer something out in the suburbs, you're sure to find a suitable CNA program amid these six popular options:
- City College of Chicago, Malcolm X College - Located right in the heart of Chicago, the City College of Chicago's Malcolm X College offers a popular nursing assistant program that, upon completion, will make you eligible to sit for the Illinois Nursing Assistant Competency Examination. Approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health, or IDPH, the school's Basic Nursing Assistant, or BNA, certificate program is offered three times per year. Day, evening, and weekend programs are available, and it takes eight to 16 weeks to complete. To enroll, you must be at least 16 years old, have a valid Social Security card, and undergo drug screening and a background check.
- Morton College - This school is located in Cicero, IL, which is about five miles from downtown Chicago. Its Health Occupations Department offers a CNA program that is approved by the IDPH. Consisting of a combination of classroom instruction as well as lab and clinical portions, the program prepares students to take and pass the state competency exam. You must be at least 16 years old and pass a background check and drug test to enroll. With tuition for in-district residents costing $936, this is one of the affordable CNA programs in Chicago.
- Triton College - Triton College, which is about nine miles from downtown Chicago in River Grove, IL, offers a Nurse Assistant Certificate Program that is approved by the IDPH. Students receive regular classroom instruction, including lectures, and they complete the clinical skills portion of the program at local extended care facilities and hospitals.
- Oakton Community College - This popular community college is located in Des Plaines, which is about 17 miles from Chicago. It offers a Basic Nurse Assistant program, or BNAT program, that qualifies those who pass to sit for the Illinois Nursing Assistant Competency Exam. You must have a high school diploma or GED to enroll.
- South Suburban College - With its location in South Holland, which is about 18 miles from Chicago, this school is convenient for Chicago-area residents who aspire to become CNAs. Its Basic Nurse Assistant Program, or BNATP, can be taken during the day or evening. After passing the course, students can take the Illinois Nursing Assistant Competency Exam. Upon passing the exam, they are placed on the State Registry for Health Care Workers and can apply for CNA jobs. The program consists of 80 hours of lab and theory and 40 hours of clinical practice at local nursing homes. In-state tuition costs $912.
- College of DuPage - Although this school is about 20 miles from Chicago, it's a good option to consider because it can be completed in as little as eight weeks. Offered throughout the year, the Basic Nursing Assistant, or BNA, program is approved by the IDPH and includes a theory and lab portion as well as a clinical skills portion. You must be at least 16 years old to enroll.
The first step to becoming a CNA is completing a CNA program, so investigate the Chicago CNA programs outlined above to take the first step in what is sure to be a rewarding career.