Basic Nurse Assistant

There is an increasing demand for health professionals, including Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Oakton wants to prepare you for this exciting and incredibly important career in public health with a valuable professional certification.

Our Basic Nurse Assistant Training (BNAT) curriculum offers study of principles and procedures used by the nurse assistant in skilled/rehab nursing facilities, home health care, and acute care hospital settings. The program focuses on basic human needs and the care of individuals of all ages. Students acquire skills and concepts through hands-on clinical experiences at local health care facilities.

A CNA performs basic nursing functions such as personal care, taking vital signs and ambulation under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN). CNAs work in hospitals, nursing care facilities or in a patient's home under the supervision of a registered nurse.

There is a great need for CNAs, and graduates of the Oakton Community College program have been very successful in obtaining employment. Many graduates attend the BNAT Career Day where they can interview with as many as 15 employers and several have found jobs through this process.

Oakton's BNAT Program is approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for hybrid or face-to-face format.

There are four steps to enroll in the BNAT program:

  1. Call the BNAT office at the Skokie campus for an appointment for an interview at 847.635.1461.
  2. Complete a general application to Oakton Community College, meeting all admission requirements.
  3. Register for BNA 100 and BNA 105 concurrently after acceptance into the BNAT Program.
  4. Pay for your class by the deadline date that you receive when you register to secure your seat.

Certificate Program

Our eight credit hour BNAT certificate can be completed in one semester. Oakton's BNAT program is an approved Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program by the Illinois Department of Public Health. More information about approved Basic Nursing Assistant Training programs can be found at Illinois Nurse Aid Testing

Learn More

Job Outlook

A CNA performs basic nursing functions such as personal care, taking vital signs and ambulation under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN). CNAs work in hospitals, nursing care facilities or in a patient's home under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Overall employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

The median annual wage for nursing assistants was $30,850 in May 2020.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 

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What You Need to Know Now

There are four steps to enroll in the BNAT program:

  • Call the BNAT office at the Skokie campus for an appointment for an interview with the BNAT program chair at 847.635.1461.
  • Complete an application to Oakton Community College, meeting all admission requirements.
  • Register for BNA 100 and BNA 105 concurrently after acceptance into the BNAT Program.
  • Pay for your class by the deadline date that you receive when you register to secure your seat.

Students who wish to enroll in the BNAT program must first call 847.635.1461 to schedule an appointment for an interview and testing.

BNAT Admission Requirements

  • High school Diploma or High School Equivalency Certificate.
  • Official high school transcript with a minimum grade point average of 2.0,
  • Or college transcripts within 10 years and a minimum grade point average of 2.0,
  • Or Oakton's Limited Enrollment Health Career Accuplacer Reading Placement Test equivalency placing into EGL095 or EGL089.
  • Have a valid social security number that will be placed on the Illinois Health Care Worker Registry.
  • Meet state-mandated medical requirements to participate in clinical sessions. These include:
    • A recent physical exam and eye exam by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner;
    • A recent TB test;
    • Hepatitis B vaccination or a signed Hepatitis B declination form;
    • Confidential medical history form (filled out by student);
    • Record of Flu vaccination during flu season;
    • COVID vaccination compliance
      (If a student meets the above requirements, Health Services will send a "Certificate of Clearance" to the BNAT program chair with a copy to the student. Students cannot attend the clinical portion of the course without this approval).
    • Fingerprint background checks are required before a new nursing assistant begins a Nursing Assistant Training Program. The background must be initiated before the student enters the program and must be done for all students enrolled in the program.A Registry must be created before the fingerprint background check can be requested and the fingerprint must be obtained before the first day of class. A student with a disqualifying conviction cannot attend the clinical portion of the BNA 100 course unless they have a waiver from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Students can access their criminal background information on the IDPH Health Care Worker Registry website. Fingerprint Criminal Background Checks are done on Campus by an IDPH approved vendor or outside by an IDPH approved vendor.

Students must be “cleared” to be authorized to participate in the clinical component of the health career program. Individual results of student background check is considered confidential.

Successful completion of the BNAT Program requires the student to participate in and satisfy the clinical training component* of the program. Students must attend clinical training experiences in a general acute hospital or skilled nursing facility. To participate in clinical training, students must be able to perform the Essential Skills Expected of a Nurse Assistant.

Students who refuse a criminal background check will not be considered “clear” and will not be authorized to participate in the clinical component of the health career program, necessitating withdrawal from the program at that time. Individual results of student background checks and drug screens are considered confidential. Determination of whether or not a student can participate in the clinical component of a particular health career program will be communicated to the respective program chairs by the background check/drug screen vendor. Students may view their personal results on the vendor’s website.

Successful completion of the BNAT Program requires the student to participate in and satisfy the clinical training component of the program. Students are required to attend clinical training experiences including but not limited to general acute hospital and skilled nursing facility. Participation in clinical training requires that the student have basic independent abilities that allow the student to perform successfully.

The student may be expected to perform independently and satisfactorily in the following domains:

Physical

  • Assess resident/patient status by visual, tactile and auditory methods.
  • Operate and monitor various types of mechanical therapeutic equipment and apply these safely to the resident/patient.
  • Regularly lift and move moderate weight, frequently lift and move heavier weights (in excess of fifty pounds) as may be required for safe transfers of patient/client.
  • Regularly spend prolonged periods, of time walking, standing, sitting, bending as well as frequently crawling, reaching, pushing and pulling.
  • Regularly communicate in both written and verbal formats essential information and observations about patients to instructors, staff, and fellow students. This includes the ability to hear resident/patient, speech, ability to read written orders with comprehension and the ability to effectively verbalize observations of patient status and other information.

Cognitive

  • Demonstrate the interpersonal skills necessary to regularly interact effectively with residents/patients, families, co-workers and other facility personnel.
  • Be able to care for 2-3 residents/patients in a timely manner.
  • Regularly demonstrate the organizational and time management skills necessary to carry out multiple resident/patient care plans on a daily basis.
  • Be able to understand the role of a CNA and carry out assigned tasks as delegated by a Registered nurse.
  • Exhibit the ability to follow directions regarding resident/patient care.
  • Regularly take initiative and work independently yet recognize self limitations.
  • Regularly accept guidance and supervision from superiors.
  • Regularly read and make adjustments as necessary of various meters, scales and measuring devices.
  • Be able to make accurate observations of resident/patients physical and emotional behaviors.

Emotional/Psychological

  • Regularly cope in an appropriate manner to common resident/patient related stressful situations in the clinical site.
  • Regularly exhibit flexibility in schedule in response to typical clinical resident/patient changes.
  • Regularly exhibit the ability to be an effective team member.

The above statements were derived in part from job descriptions and work expectations from various long-term care facilities.

Each student's right to participation in the clinical portion of the curriculum is also contingent upon compliance with the rules of the clinical facility. The clinical facility has the sole discretion to determine when its rules have been violated.

Meet Your Faculty and Experts

Oakton's professors and lecturers are experts in their fields with advanced degrees and years of real-world experience. In addition to classroom learning, students receive support from our panel of expert advisors.

Jhosa Pagulayan, Chair
Professor of Basic Nurse Assistant Training
B.S.N. St Paul University
MAEd, St. Paul University
M.S. North Park University
jpagulay@oakton.edu
847-376-7642
Office: B219, Skokie

Donna Dickson
Professor of Basic Nurse Assistant Training

B.S.N. Bradley University
ddickson@oakton.edu
847.376.7688
Office: B220, Skokie

Bincy Reginold
Distinguished Professor of Basic Nurse Assistant Training
A.D.N. Malcolm X. College
B.S.N. University of Illinois at Chicago
M.S.N. North Park University
breginold@oakton.edu
847.635.1481
Office: B235, Skokie

Sheila Zabin
Professor of Basic Nurse Assistant Training
B.S.N. Loyola University of Chicago
B.S. Loyola University of Chicago
M.S.N. Walden University
szabin@oakton.edu
847.376.7689
Office: B226, Skokie

Deborah Wyeth
Assistant Professor of Basic Nursing Assistant Training
B.S.N. Loyola University
dwyeth@oakton.edu
847.635.1465
Office: B226, Skokie

Maribel Alimboyoguen
Assistant Dean of Health Careers
Oakton Community College

Jhosa Pagulayan
Chair, BNAT
Oakton Community College

Bincy Reginold
Coordinator-BNAT
Oakton Community College

Vanessa Roush
Health Services Nurse
Oakton Community College

Ita Cronin
Clinical Director, Department of Nursing
Northshore University Health System

Sharon Keane
Misericordia

Rebecca Stewart
Director of Health Career Programs
Maine Township High School

Margaret Gas
Chair, Nursing
Oakton Community College

Barbara Strongin
Director of Business Development
Freedom Home Care & Medical Staffing

Kelly Gilbert
Director
Visiting Angels

Kelly Mueller
Human Resources
Advocate Lutheran General

Robbin Johnson-Carter
Nurse educator
Lieberman Geriatric Center

Scola Kone
Director of Nursing Presence
Ressurection Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Jeff Emrich/Carl Kettler
Bright Star

Bernadette Kalita
A-Abiding Care

Mary Beth Dentzer
Health Services Administrator, LNHA
Three Crowns Park

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton Community College! No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps.

FAQ

Yes, by law a criminal background check must be cleared prior to the first day of class. The cost is included in your fees. To become a certified nursing assistant in the State of Illinois and be employed as a CNA, a student must pass a criminal background check to be entered into the Illinois Department of Public Health Certified Health Care Worker Registry.

You will need to contact the state to which you are moving and request reciprocity. Be aware that this process takes some time. Remember that you must complete all the requirements to be a CNA in Illinois before you are eligible for reciprocity. Most states will accept Illinois certification.

Yes. The current cost to take the exam is $75. You may register after completing the course.

No. BNA 105 is a co-requisite and is taught concurrently with BNA 100.

Disclosure Requirements for Academic Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification

Licensure Requirements: Each state and territory has different licensure and certification requirements. Oakton has researched and/or contacted state licensing authorities/nurse aide registries to confirm that the program meets the educational requirements leading to professional licensure. Other licensure requirements may include professional certification exams, background checks, years of work experience, fingerprinting, etc.

Licensure information is reviewed and updated on this site in June of each year. Licensure information is reviewed and updated on this site in June of each year. As of July 1, 2020, we have determined that individuals that successfully complete Basic Nurse Assistant Training Certificate Program curriculum:

Meets the education requirements leading to licensure/certification in these states and U.S. Territories: Illinois, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Missouri

Does NOT meet the education requirements For licensure/certification in these states and U.S. Territories: Nebraska

We have not made a determination if the program curriculum meets the requirements for licensure/certification in these states and US Territories: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

If you intend to practice in any state other than Illinois, you should contact the appropriate licensing agency to independently verify whether Oakton’s program satisfies the educational requirements for licensure in a particular state before beginning Oakton’s program. Be aware that state licensure requirements may change from time to time and that states may have conditions for licensure in addition to educational requirements.

Contact Us

Valerie Parrilli
Advising and Assessment Specialist, BNAT
847.635.1467
vparrilli@oakton.edu

Jhosa Pagulayan
847.376.7642
jpagulay@oakton.edu