Nurse assistants provide personal care to patients under the supervision of nurses. The type of nursing care provided varies depending on the needs of the patient. In some cases, patients may be too ill or weak to perform necessary physical activities by themselves. For example, nurse assistants might help patients with eating and drinking at meal times or with personal grooming activities such as dressing, bathing, shaving and brushing their teeth. Some patients have problems with mobility and CNAs help them sit up, turn over, get out of bed, or walk.
Nurse assistants also monitor patient vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. They may also help nurses and doctors care for patients by setting up equipment, sterilizing instruments, and stocking supplies. Other common tasks include changing bed linens, keeping patient rooms tidy, and delivering meals.
A large part of the nurse assistant’s job involves providing patients with company and encouragement. Patients can feel depressed or lonely, and nursing assistants may simply spend time chatting with them, listening to them and helping to raise their spirits. This type of emotional support can go a long way towards helping a patient feel better.
Nurse assistants work in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Some work in private homes. Both full time and part time positions are available in this field. Those who work full time generally work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. Because patients need round-the-clock care, nurse assistants often have to work evening and weekend shifts. The job is fairly demanding, and nurse assistants must be in fairly good shape.
Earnings for nurse assistants vary depending on experience, employer, location and education. Nurse assistants typically earn between $8 and $16 an hour. The median wage for nurse assistants across the country is around $12 an hour. A 20% growth rate over the next 10 years is expected.
The Basic Nurse Assistant Training course is offered under the direction of the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. In accordance with the Health Care Worker Background Check Act of 1996, a criminal background check through a live scan fingerprint will be completed within the first ten days of the class.
Students who successfully complete the course will be eligible to take the Illinois Nurse Aide Training Competency Evaluation Program written examination. Placement on the Illinois Nurse Aide Registry is contingent upon successful completion of the competency test and a clear background check.
Students who are interested in enrolling in the Basic Nurse Assistant Training course must first take the COMPASS exam. You may contact Mitch Ray in the Assessment Center 309-341-5323 to schedule a time to take this test. Once you have taken COMPASS and achieved the minimum reading score, you may register for the class.
Please contact the Admissions and Records Office at 309-341-5260 for more information. According to Illinois law, students must possess an 8th grade education and be 16 years of age to become a nurse assistant.
Enrollment is limited to 15 students per class offering. Classes have alternate start dates and times.
Class times and dates depend on current resources and faculty available.