students working in a mock lab at cod

Certified Nursing Assistant Program

The Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program (CNATP) prepares students for employment as entry-level certified nurse assistants (CNA) through a combination of classroom and clinical education. The CNA course emphasizes basic nursing assistant skills and related knowledge and can be completed in one semester.

CNA students will learn infection control measures, how to provide safe care for patients and how to observe a patient's wellbeing in order to provide the best comfort and patient care. After completion of the six-credit hour course, students are eligible to earn a Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate and be eligible to take the certification competency exam in Illinois to become a CNA and be recognized on the Illinois Health Care Worker Registry. The exam is managed and approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). 

The CNA program serves a stepping stone for many students who want to continue their education in the nursing profession and earn an Associate Degree in Nursing. 

Registration Information

Prospective students must follow specific registration criteria before being admitted into the program and follow the registration checklist located in the CNA Registration Packet.

First Step to Register - Attend an Advising Session

Determine Your Path

CNAs work in long-term care, hospitals, home health agencies, rehabilitation and hospice. Routine care is administered by the nursing assistant under the direct supervision of a nurse.

Whether you are looking to get your feet wet and learn what it is like to be a nursing assistant, College of DuPage can help get you started. COD offers:

  • Passionate instructors with years of working in the nursing field.
  • Fully-equipped lab at the Westmont Regional Center.
  • A high CNA competency examination pass rate. Over 96 percent of students who take the CNA certification exam pass successfully. 
  • The opportunity to continue the program and earn an Associate Degree in Nursing at COD. 

Certified Nursing Assistant

The Certified Nursing Assistant, Certificate meets the guidelines set by federal and state government. Upon successful completion of the program students are eligible to take the certification competency exam in Illinois to become a CNA.

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in the CNA program is to read the registration packet, review the Advising Session PowerPoint and attend an advising session. The packet contains a registration checklist that you will need to follow in order to be eligible for admission.

Program Costs

COD Stories

Bailey Svoboda

"I fell in love with patient care almost instantly and knew it was what I was meant to do in this world. After a few years of feeling confused on what my path was supposed to be, I was finally certain and moved forward full speed ahead." - Bailey Svoboda

Bailey's COD Story

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

CNA program graduates will:

  • Perform as a valued member of the health care team within the approved scope of practice allowed for a nursing assistant
  • Demonstrate safety, medical asepsis, and awareness of patient/resident rights
  • Identify methods for controlling the spread of infection
  • Demonstrate the principles of basic human anatomy and physiology
  • Define medical terms and abbreviations
  • Compile data necessary for the health care team to make informed decisions regarding the appropriate care plan for the health care consumer
  • Evaluate patient's responses to the provided care
  • Describe the principles and role of the nurse assistant in rehabilitative and restorative care facilities
  • Identify the common diseases and physical changes associated with the geriatric population
  • List the needs of the dying patient and the role of the nurse assistant in delivering post-mortem care
  • Complete the Alzheimer's disease and related disorders protocol
  • Perform the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) mandated skills for a nurse assistant
  • Implement holistic patient care based on the skills required by the State of Illinois for a nurse assistant
  • Demonstrate skills in the nursing care plan established for the patient
  • Perform in a manner appropriate of a nursing assistant when communicating with patients, visitors, instructors, and other team members
  • Perform within a legal and ethical framework based on patient rights as mandated in accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) policies
  • Perform self-evaluation to ensure the highest level of quality patient care

Career Information

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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your frequently asked questions regarding the Certified Nursing Assistant program.

If you are new to College of DuPage, you should start by talking to an Admissions Representative at (630) 942-2626. If you have taken classes here before, you should start by completing the online Advising Session; these are posted online.

All health requirements must be completed before you can register for the program. The QuantiFERON TB Gold test and drug screen must be completed according to the dates posted in the registration packet.

 A composite 20 on the ACT will satisfy the reading requirement only.

If a nurse aide is in good standing with no findings of abuse, neglect or theft and has not worked for pay in the nursing-related services for 12 consecutive months or more, he/she may be able to re-certify by either retraining and testing or testing only. Visit for recertification details.

Yes, as long as you meet the requirements set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

  • Have been deemed competent on another state's registry for CNAs.
  • Meet Illinois CNA employer requirements

Participants in an Illinois Department of Public Health approved CNATP must be at least 16 years of age. Certain employers may not hire you until you are at least 18.