When do students take the state exam?

Students may only take the state exam after completing all of theory and clinical. Generally, the state exams may be taken about a month after the last day of class. BHC offers state exams on a regular basis, but they may be taken elsewhere.

Who may enter this class?

There are no prerequisite classes. Students must be at least 16 years old and have an 8th grade education. If a student has a criminal record, it is important to apply for a waiver before entering class. It is unlikely a student will be allowed to be a CNA if he/she has committed certain crimes. (See http://www.idph.state.il.us/nar/home.htm for a link to disqualifying convictions.) A criminal background check will be submitted for each student in the class.


Tuition is based upon an 8 credit hour class. In-district tuition and lab fees are approximately $900. In addition to tuition, fees, and books, students will need to have a physical exam prior to the clinical practicum. This includes a two step TB test and updated immunizations. There are also required supplies, such as a uniform, gait belt, watch, etc. (See required supply list.) Background checks and state exam fee are all included in lab fees/tuition.

How long is this course?

This is an 8 week course at BHC. Hours vary, but most classes run three days a week for 6 hours a day. (Theory will be approximately 18 actual hours a week for 6 weeks.) Currently, we are running daytime classes only.

40 clinical hours are required, and these are usually done the last two weeks of class. Hours will vary, depending on instructor availability. Clinical hours may take place in a long term care facility or in a hospital.

Who generally takes this course?

  • Students who would like to become CNAs.
  • Students who would like to become nurses. They often use this as a stepping stone to a new career.
  • Students who are trying to decide whether or not they would like a career in nursing or a related field.

What type of material will be taught?

The CNA student will learn how to assist the nurse in direct patient care. The student will learn practical skills such as bathing, feeding, dressing, bed making, how to take vital signs, how to safely move and lift patients, communication techniques, reporting techniques, and infection control. Content also includes professional behavior, simple anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and some pathophysiology. This class meets the state requirements for Alzheimer’s training and CPR content.