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Certified Nursing Assistant

Enjoy strong employment opportunities and offer meaningful care to others as a Certified Nursing Assistant. CNAs provide basic care for patients in hospitals, long-term care centers and in private homes. They assist patients with bathing, dressing, eating and other daily functions.

Through your HCC classes, learn to:

  • make basic observations about patients that involve all body systems and their responses to treatment
  • perform medical procedures such as catheter care, specimen collection, vital signs and range of motion exercises
  • master non-invasive procedures by performing them on classmates

For further questions, please contact the program coordinator, Patty Omahana, at 309-268-8765 or

Take the classroom portion of the Certified Nursing Assistant class, NURS 110, in either an 8-week or a 16-week format. The 140-hour program includes 90 hours in the classroom and lab. You also perform 50 hours of direct patient care in a local long-term care facility under the supervision of a nursing faculty member. Once the following criteria are met, you can be placed on the Illinois Department of Public Health CNA Registry:

  • successful completion of the CNA course
  • passing the state competency exam
  • clearing a criminal background check

Employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom population ages, nursing assistants will be needed to assist and care for elderly patients.

Nursing assistants held about 1.5 million jobs in 2016. The largest employers of nursing assistants were as follows:
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)40%
Hospitals; state, local, and private26%
Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly11%
Home healthcare services5%
Government 4%
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Earn your certificate at heartland:

Nursing Assistant certificate

The Nursing Assistant Certificate at Heartland Community College prepares individuals to function as nursing assistants in nursing homes, hospitals and private homes. Instruction focuses on basic nursing knowledge and skills required to care for individuals in a manner that respects their dignity. Students will learn a variety of skills, which require fine-motor coordination. Students must also be physically able to lift and transfer patients safely and correctly. Students must be able to lift, push and pull a minimum of 50 pounds.

Nursing Department

Visit the Nursing Department