Free CNA Training in Illinois

You might be considering a career as a certified nursing assistant if you want to provide compassionate care for patients in an entry-level nursing related career in Illinois.  You will need to find a good quality training program that has been approved by the state and pass the certification exam in order to become a CNA.  Nursing assistants usually earn between $24,000 and $31,000 per year as nursing assistants. See free training opportunities below:

1) Workforce Offices in Your Area: There is an increasing demand for healthcare workers in the US.  The state of Illinois is no exception.  They have a big need for healthcare providers including CNAs.  If you are currently unemployed, you should contact your unemployment office.  If you are a motivated individual with the potential to do well in the healthcare industry, you might qualify to receive assistance to receive free cna training.


2) Scholarships and Grants: Nursing assistant training is offered at many different colleges and universities throughout Illinois. In some cases these programs are eligible for state or local grants and scholarships.  This is certainly something to consider when looking into programs offered at the higher education level.  If you receive a large enough grant or scholarship, your training will be taken care of.

Nursing assistant training programs can cost a few hundred dollars and last for only a few weeks.  There are times when you will be able to access assistance to pay for your training if you would otherwise not be able to afford training.  This is especially true if you will be able to improve your life if you train for a new career.

Direct Free Training Opportunities

The CCC CNA Scholarship
The scholarship was set up to help people interested in a high demand career get the necessary training without having to pay the fees associated with it. It favors those who have a desire to work with patients on a day to day basis and provide caring and compassionate care. As part of the scholarship you will receive up to $1000 in tuition fees payable to any state accepted program where you’ve already gotten admission. You might have to be eligible for the WIA as well. To get more info visit:

TTI Medical Training (Help with Government Grant as well as Payment Plan Assistance)
6615 W. Irving Park # 216 , Chicago, IL 60634
Located in Chicago. They provide assistance in applying for federal grants that might pay for your training at their school. Specifically, they help with the Workforce Investment act application. If you’re from a low income household or are part of the foster home system you might be eligible for the WIA. Approval into the WIA usually takes three to four months and requires dedication and commitment. TTI holds WIA orientations throughout the year that help familiarize you with the process. Get in touch with them on the following phone number: 773-774-2222

A Plus Healthcare Training (WIA Approved Training Provider)
366 S. Main Street, Bartlett, IL. 60103
Similar to the listing above, they are another WIA approved provider. Depending on your location they may be nearer to you that TTI. Get in touch with them on the following address:   Phone#:(630)372-2442

Adult Education and Training Center
1415 Hickory Point Mall, Rte 51 N. • Forsyth, IL 62523
These classes are provided for free but require you to pass a small test before you get the grant. This is provided as part of the WIA (similar to the opportunity above). You do however have to pay for registraion, a backround check and your certification exam cost (roughly $150). To get in touch with them please call 875-0061

Inspired Elder Care in Oswegocnanotes1
They are offering dedicated and passionate people the chance to become caregivers. Caregivers are not supposed to be certified but they do similar work as a CNA in helping improve the lives of residents in nursing facilities. The company does not require you to be qualified for this position. They do however claim to offer on the job training(not necessarily CNA training) so this might be good for someone looking for a CNA like job.

CASA Central – Illinois Chapter
1343 N. California Ave. Chicago, IL 60622.
This location was referred to us by one of our readers (Thank you Justa). They offer a free training program specifically to people living in low income households. It is likely you will need to qualify to receive the training. The program is very thorough and as such will be recognized excellently when you apply for a job after certification (it lasts for 4 months which is more than most programs in Illinois). For more info, visit them in the address above if you live close by or call them on (773) 645-2431. 

Low Cost Training Opportunities

Career Training Center of Chicago
3525 W Peterson Ave-Ste T24-Chicago, IL 60659-North Park 

The Career Training Center of Chicago offers a 5 week nursing assistant certification program.  This program is shorter in length than some of the other programs in the area.  This is actually helpful for students who have limited time due to family obligations or their work. Even though the course is only 5 weeks, students say it is quite intense and not lacking in the volume of material covered and the hands on and clinical experience provided.  Even though students learn a lot in a short period of time, graduates comment on how well the course is taught and how much the teachers try to help each student to learn everything they need to in the time provided.  The school has teachers who will teach a topic in much more depth if they find a particular topic is really interested to one or more student in a particular class. The same is true if an instructor realizes that more in depth information will help a student understand more.

One student mentioned how much Candace tries to help make sure students can be successful.  She is one of the owners (a family owned school) and she really cares to provide quality training to all students. The teachers are also always open to suggestions from students about how they can improve a class or present a topic better. The course includes opportunities to practice skills in a synthetic lab session before they actually use their skills in the clinical portion.  This clinical portion of the training program for nursing assistants will be overseen by a Registered Nurse. It is completed at a nursing home or care facility that is really near to the school.

The course is a little more affordable than some of the others in the general area.  One student commented that it was at least $400 less than the other training courses she considered. They also seem to have less extra fees or things that a student is required to purchase to be able to finish this certified nursing assistant class. People are quick to point out, that even though it is not an expensive program; students are taught well by individuals who really know what they are talking about. The Career Training Center of Chicago does offer payment plans.  This is helpful to individuals who do not receive financial assistance to pay for the course.

Scholarships/Grants for Vocational Nursing

Illinois Department of Public Health – Nursing Education Scholarship Program
This is a scholarship that is available for those wishing to pursue LPN training. While our website is primarily for nurse aide training, we feature these scholarships from time to time since a lot of our readers are ideally looking for an entry into nursing be it with CNA or LPN training. To qualify for this scholarship you need to be accepted into a state approved practical nursing program. You also need to demonstrate financial need. The award covers most of your tuition and living expenses (if living at the college). One caveat that is there to this is that you need to work for the state upon becoming an LPN. In most cases this is actually a good thing since they pay is great and the benefits are pretty good too.


Q: I’m looking for a little to no cost CNA program near North Chicago,Il OR Waukegan,Il. I received my certificate in 2010 and now it is 2015. Is it possible to just take a refresher course or is it cheaper to renew my certificate? I have a one month old baby and I have low income, I need this to help me get on my feet once again.

A: Congratulations on the new born! The best way to get started would be to contact your previous employer. The place you used to work before you let your certificate expire. Usually, if you had a good relationship with them, they will pay for your retraining so that they can hire you again. Due to the time that has elapsed, a refresher course will not necessarily be enough to challenge the state exam. If your previous employer isn’t an option, you can check out nursing care facilities in your area. If you get hired as a trainee, they will pay for your training costs.

Nursing homes in Illinois that might give CNA training for free

Note: These nursing homes DO NOT Provide CNA training directly.  Some might not even provide CNA training at the moment. This is a listing of the most popular homes in Illinois. Your best bet is to contact those with active vacancies. 

Cahokia Nursing & Rehab Center – 2 Annable Court   Cahokia, Illinois 62206
Phone: (618) 332-0114

Calhoun Skilled Care – #1 Myrtle Lane   Hardin, Illinois 62047
Phone: (618) 576-2278

Camelot Terrace – 516 West Frech Street   Streator, Illinois 61364
Phone: (815) 672-9390

Capitol Care Center – 555 West Carpenter   Springfield, Illinois 62702
Phone: (217) 525-1880

Carbondale Nsg & Rehab Center – 500 South Lewis Lane   Carbondale, Illinois 62901
Phone: (618) 529-5355

Integrated Health Serv-Brentwood – 5400 West 87th Street   Burbank, Illinois 60459
Phone: (708) 423-1200

Miller Health Care Center – 1601 Butterfield Trail   Kankakee, Illinois 60901
Phone: (815) 936-6500

Modern Care Convalescent & N H – 1500 West Walnut   Jacksonville, Illinois 62650
Phone: (217) 245-4183

Momence Meadows Nursing Center – 500 South Walnut   Momence, Illinois 60954
Phone: (815) 472-2423

Monmouth Nursing Home – 117 South I Street   Monmouth, Illinois 61462
Phone: (309) 734-3811

Monroe County Nursing Home – 500 Illinois Avenue   Waterloo, Illinois 62298
Phone: (618) 939-3488

St Anthony’s Memorial Hospital – 503 North Maple Street   Effingham, Illinois 62401
Phone: (217) 342-2121

St Benedict Nursing & Rehab – 6930 West Touhy Avenue   Niles, Illinois 60714
Phone: (847) 647-0003

St Clara’s Manor – 200 Fifth Street   Lincoln, Illinois 62656
Phone: (217) 735-1507

William L Dawson Nursing Home – 3500 South Giles Avenue   Chicago, Illinois 60653
Phone: (312) 326-2000

Willow Creek Rehabilitation – 40 North 64th Street   Belleville, Illinois 62223
Phone: (618) 397-8400

Willow Crest Nursing Pavilion – 515 North Main   Sandwich, Illinois 60548
Phone: (815) 786-8426

Willow Wood Health Care Center – 430 Martin Road P O Box 579   Rock Falls, Illinois 61071
Phone: (815) 626-4575

Willows Health Center – 4054 Albright Lane   Rockford, Illinois 61103
Phone: (815) 654-2534

A quick Look At 7 Quick Ways of Getting Free Training in Illinois

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Other state listings:

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

17 Responses to Free CNA Training in Illinois

  1. jasmine August 11, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Will they hire you in exchange for them training you?

    • Admin August 31, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

      Alot of them will if you commit to working for them for a specific number of months. Usually a year or so.

  2. Stacey September 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    Are there any other Nursing homes in the Belleville area that offer CNA training. I called the few that are on the list and none of them offer it.

    • Admin October 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

      Hi Stacey,
      they don’t offer training directly. These are nursing homes in the Illinois area. If they have a vacancy, there’s a high chance they will pay for your training to be certified.

  3. Sunshyne December 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Are there any programs near blue island il? When you call these nursing homes what do you ask them in order to inquire about becoming a Cna?

  4. Breezi August 15, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Hi, I am VERY interested in becoming a CNA. but everywhere i go tell me that they dont hire UNLESS you have your CNA,…. plus i am a mother to a 8 month old and dont have the money to pay for the CNA course by myself. and none of the grants or loans i apply for will pay for the course. do you have any recomendations where to go? i live in the peoria Illinois area. thank you


    • Bill March 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      If you have not already tried the Workforce Network, you need to do so. They are located in downtown Peoria at One Technology Plaza. It is an approved program which means they should pay for all of it and childcare as well if they currently have any funds left. If they don’t, try the Southside Office of Concern, and the Tri-County Urban League. After that if you still don’t hit one, I’d do as they recommend. Call Nursing home that list job openings in or, and see if any of them will pay for your tuition if you agree to go to work with them for a specific period of time. Usually those kind of deals are 1 year deals. Keep in mind that new workers at nursing home around peoria metro, usually start 3rd shift, but 3rd shift also makes more money – up to $14.50 an hour at one facility. In 20 years, i’ve never had a hospital around Peoria take a CNA graduate from me (workforce office) but there were a couple of rural hospitals that did around Havana.

  5. tamika bivens September 6, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    does red cross offer free cna classes in chicago? i was a cna in the state of florida but moved to chicago and i did not transfer my registration therefore my certification became null and void, what do i have to do to reenstate my certification.

  6. Kristin Madsen August 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m the CNA and Nurse recruiter at Wesley Willows Corporation in Rockford, Illinois. At my company, we do not provide CNA training directly on our campus. Local programs offering this training in the Rockford area are: Rock Valley College, Rockford Career College, and the public school district. Many of these programs will come onto our campus to conduct the clinical portion of their training, but you would need to be enrolled directly through one of these programs.

    We do provide tuition reimbursement and on-going training and educational opportunities for current staff members. Education is always worth-while in the healthcare field!

    Kristin Madsen
    HR Coordinator
    Wesley Willows Corporation- Rockford, IL

  7. Janelle White October 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    I am in carbondale IL and I am looking for somewhere close to take cna classes so I can work for a nursing home any info would help

    • Bill April 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

      Janelle the community college is right between carbondale and marion. They should offer CNA classes. If they don’t they’d be the first community college in the state that i know of that didn’t.

  8. Christine Willow February 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Hello, I live in Chicago IL and have been interested in pursuing a career in healthcare for quite some time now. However during high school I was faced with many obstacles that ultimately enabled me from receiving my high school diploma. I’m very passionate and knowledgeable about healthcare already and desperately need certification to take it to the next level. I would love to be in a position where I could help others but unfortunately not having a high school diploma has hindered me and kept me at a stand still. Are there any CNA programs in Chicago IL that does not require a high school diploma or GED ? (Any information would be helpful )

    • Bill March 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      Most community colleges in illinois or some other agency in the community offer free GED courses. I’ve had clients even study the ged books at the local library and then go down to the regional education office and take the test and pass. the constitution test is the hardest part for many. If you have a learning disability, then you need to go to one of the States Department of Rehabilitation offices (DORS) and they can either provide you with a tutor or job placement assistance if they don’t think you can ever pass the GED. they also pay for schooling for anyone with a disability, whether it be a physical or mental disability. Some individuals don’t have a learning disability they just got passed through classes all their lives. In that case there are some free reading programs in almost every large community in the state. Workforce Investment Offices or Public Aid offices or the community college should be able to direct you to the free reading classes if that is the problem.

      • Admin March 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

        Wow! Thank you Bill! This will help a lot of our readers.

  9. tina coates March 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Hi my name is Tina I reside in matteson Il. i was wondering if there are hospitals nearby or nursing homes that will allow me to earn my CNA while working for them. I have always been in the caregiver field, but have not became state certified.

  10. Shirley April 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Hi l am a UK trained nurse and, l was hoping to work as a CNA while l am studying for CGFNS/NCLEX. I am have not been successful because l dont have a CNA Certificate, looking for CNA jobs that offer training. l need to work asap out of money now bills are pilling up with no income…

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