CNA Certification in Illinois

Congratulations if you have made the decision to train for employment as a CNA.  A certified nursing assistant provides basic care services for patients in a variety of healthcare settings.  CNAs are often in the highest demand in nursing care and retirement facilities.  You must complete a training program and pass the certification exam for certification if you want to become a CNA.

Illinois CNA Hours and Training Requirements

You will need to attend a training program that has been approved by the state of Illinois before you can sit for the certified nursing assistant competency exam.  The state of Illinois requires individuals to complete a minimum of 120 hours of training before they are eligible to sit for the exam.  Your course will include both classroom lessons and hands on clinical experience.

Training courses can be found in a variety of settings throughout the state of Illinois.  Many long-term care centers offer nursing assistant training.  You can check with other healthcare providers in your area for potential training courses as well.  Some community colleges and technical schools will offer state-approved CNA training.

Transferring Certification From Another State to Illinois

If you received your nursing assistant certification in another state, you might be eligible to transfer that certification to Illinois. You can begin working as a CNA if your certification is transferred to Illinois without any stipulations. It will not be possible to transfer your nursing assistant certification if you have not worked as a CNA for two years or more. Otherwise, you will need to take both the skills and written nursing assistant certification exam again before working as a CNA in Illinois.

Follow the steps below regarding the transfer process:

1) Download the form for reciprocity from the Illinois nurse aide registry website. The form URL is

2) Fill out the form while making sure to provide accurate information. They will verify the information that you provided with your current licensing body.

3) Send the completed form by mail to: Illinois Department of Public Health
Health Care Worker Registry, 525 W. Jefferson St., Fourth Floor, Springfield, IL 62761,  Phone 217-785-5133 Fax 217-524-0137

4) They will then send you a fingerprint scan form. Use this form and go take your fingerprints at a registered facility near your area. (A list of facilities will be provided on the form they send you)

5) Send the fingerprint form back to the registry. They will contact you in 14 to 21 days with a reply. If you do not meet the Illinois CNA regulations, you might need to retake either the exam or the training as well.

CNA Recertification in Illinois

You will need to renew your certification in Illinois every 24 months in order to remain active as a certified nursing assistant. You do not need to take a certification training course or exam again as long as you have completed your certification forms by the due date.

In the state of Illinois, it is necessary to have worked at some point during the past 24 month as a nursing assistant or provided nursing-related services for compensation. You can recertify if you have met the requirements by completing your recertification papers and submitting any fees. You should receive your recertification paperwork from the state of Illinois in plenty of time to renew your certification before it expires. If you allow your certification to expire, you will need to re-take the certification exam in order to renew your certification.


Q: I am currently in a nursing program and I have successfully completed med surg and ob can I sit for CNA boards, if so how do i go about it.
A: If you have already completed your fundamentals of nursing course and done 40 hours of clinical work you can sit for the nurse aide exam in Illinois.

Q: I need to transfer my CNA to Florida from Illinois. Where do I get the paper work to do that?
A: You can get all the information on our page for CNA certification in Florida

Q: I’m currently in a CNA course in my home town illinois, i have passed the class and need to take the test in June but i will be gone by june i was wondering can i take the test in louisiana where i will be moving to soon?

A: I do not see this as being a problem as LA is pretty leanient on their CNA rules. (A high school diploma isn’t even required) Here is what I was able to find out for you. For CNA’s that hold licensure in other states, they can be transfered to LA via reciprocity. To find out if you can test there when having trained in IL, here is the info for contact: send an application for testing along withy a copy of your LA ID (you will have to wait until you get there and get a new ID or drivers license) to 5647 Superior Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70816. Hope this helps and good luck in your new life down south!

30 Responses to CNA Certification in Illinois

  1. April August 18, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    I am interested in becoming a cna. What steps do I need to take to get into training.

  2. Latosha May September 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    I need to know is there a place Illinois where I can take free C.N.A classes?

  3. tosha October 8, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    Hello! I was wondering I have not worked for a cna for over 6 years and my licenses have lapsed I was wondering if I woudl have to take the whole class over or just the state exam.

  4. sara October 25, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    I took the CNA course about 6 years ago but because of school schedule never got cna job. I want to recertify myself can i do the skills and state test only for IL. or do I have to do class

  5. Amber cunningham November 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    I haven’t worked as a cna in about 6 to7 yrs. I know have to take the exam again,but every place I go to is way to expensive. Is there a way I can take the exam for free or cheaper then 200 dollars

  6. Sam January 13, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    Can you become a CNA with a felony 10 years ago on your background

  7. Denise February 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    I have a CNA certificate as of April 2011. The problem is the job I have has hired me as a homemaker/companion for home health. My CNA cerficate is not needed. How do I keep my certificate active?

    • Admin February 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

      Within the 2 years after receiving your certificate, you will need to have worked for at least one full day as a CNA under the supervision of a nurse. You won’t have to worry about this till early next year. You could apply for a temp job around that time to fulfill the licensing requirements.

    • Felicia March 13, 2022 at 2:25 am #

      The place where your working if they will sign off on your recertification form that would definitely help, I don’t see why they shouldn’t. Or just pick up a PRN job and as long as you work 8-14 hours and attend the i services, they will sign off for you to keep your license. Please do what you can to keep them. I was a CNA for 3 years my company held on to mine and I had to go back to a 4 week class thank God I got them back, I had them since I was 18, I am 49 now. Keep them updated.

  8. lashanda March 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    i wanna move to alabama how can i move my certification? what do i do?

  9. lauren March 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    What if you interned? Does that count even if it isnt paid?

    • randall May 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      No it will not count. You must get paid. I believe it is only for 8 hours though a nursing home might help you out if you explain your situation

  10. kim May 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    If working as a cna in IL. what continuing Ed do I need to have annually?

  11. amber July 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    if i just got certified haven’t worked as a cna yet and i want to move to illinois would i have to pay? and do i have to take the test over?

  12. Nia August 4, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    How,many questions are you allowed to miss on the state board exam

  13. marquetta james October 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    need proof of my cna license number when i worked in ill in 2000

  14. martha January 31, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    Hi i recently had a baby and i want to take 2 years off to stay home with her iam a cna for 5years now but i dont want my certified to expire how many days in that two year period do i have to work so my certifiied dont expire.

  15. Lacey Lockert March 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    I just started working as a cna i have completed 14 hours at this new job. I received my CNA license April 2011. Is there a certain amount of hours i need to work to keep my license valid? If not what are the steps i need to do to be re-certified?!

    • Admin March 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

      Illinois like most states require proof of 8 hours worked in a nursing facility. In your case, you will just need to fill out the recertification form and have your employer sign off in the working requirements section.

  16. Cindy March 29, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    I am currently working as a certified medical assistant in a pediatrics office that is affiliated with a major medical group. I have a valid certificate through AAMA. I applied to work in a hospital and was told because my CMA certificate is NOT tracked in the state of Illinois I am unable to work in a hospital.

    I was wondering if I would be able to sit for the CNA exam based on the education I already have received, or will I need to go back to school for specific CNA training in order to get a CNA certificate??

    Ideally I am hoping to just sit for the CNA test based on education I’ve already received. If you could get back to me that would be very helpful. I have tried calling the Office of Professional Standards but due to budget cuts all I get is a recording to call back at another time.


  17. Gem May 14, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Hey there
    Was wondering if I could take the re-certification exam (originally certified in California) In illinois, instead of taking it over here (CA)?

  18. Madonna Ramos July 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Hi. I completed my CNA training/program. I want to take my exam for certification. But here is the problem. I have a felony on my record. 5 years ago I went to prison for grand lacerny. Can I still take my exam. Thank you for your reply.

  19. Tabitha Kelley September 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    If i have not worked as a CNA since 2008, what are the requirements to retake the state test? i joined the military and was overseas for 5 years. my husband and i got back last february. What i was understanding is that if you haven’t practiced in so long you would have to retake the cna course over again. Is that info correct?

  20. Sahar Jallaq December 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    I am scheduled to take my Ohio STNA test tomorrow, but I have to move to Illinois due to my husband’s job. Is it acceptable to write down Illinois Board on the test application or can I just get it transferred via reciprocity after I pass my state test?

  21. mary February 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    So I received my cna in il back in may of 2012. Im in Wisconsin for school and work as a can there. I’ve never worked in Illinois with it though. Does this still keep my cna active even though its not in Illinois??

  22. Jennifer April 17, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    I am currently licensed as a dsp/dd aide and have been working as one for almost 10 years. I would like to have my cna, can I just take the cna exam or do I have to take schooling?

  23. Shanise August 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    I am currently and CNA in KY for 1year 2 months I’m gettin ready to move to ILlinois will I have to retake the test or will my license transfer

  24. Nicole August 9, 2022 at 5:52 pm #

    Just found out that certain facilities are not putting in that I’m certified and now my certification have expired as of 2019, I’ve been working at different facilities but I’m not in the registry as a C.N.A but they have me been certified since 1999

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