Get CNA Certified in Chicago


Want to become a CNA in Chicago? 


Job Growth:

There are 1,200 registered nursing facilities in Illinois, and Chicago alone has 100 hospitals, making it one of the most employable cities for CNAs.



Chicago is a top-ranked city for CNA wages, which average at $16/hour, but the top 10% of the nation’s nurse aids earn $50,000.



To become a registered CNA, you must graduate from an accredited course, some as short as 4 weeks, and pass the state exam.

What are the CNA requirements in Chicago? Here’s how to prepare for your CNA state exam and how to become a Certified Nurse Assistant in Chicago.


How to Become a CNA in Chicago 

A CNA is a Certified Nurse Assistant, or Certified Nurse Aide. It is one of the most important roles on the healthcare team. CNAs are fully responsible for the general care of patients. This includes taking and recording vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure, assisting them to and from their bed, aiding them during meals, and attending to personal hygiene. 

To start a CNA training program, you need to be at least 16 years old, have a high school diploma or the equivalent, pass a criminal background check, and have up-to-date immunization records. Next, you will need to find accredited CNA classes in Chicago and successfully graduate from the nursing assistant program. You must then pass the required state exam and register online on the Illinois Nurse Registry in order to qualify for a CNA job in Chicago

Chicago has a high CNA employment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 50% of CNAs work in Nursing Care Facilities, and there are 1,200 registered nursing facilities in the state of Illinois that offer employment. The city of Chicago alone holds over 100 hospitals, making it one of the most employable cities in the state for CNAs. Chicago is also a top-ranked city for CNA wages, which can be $16/hour, and can range from $30,000 to $38,000 a year.

You can also get more detailed information by connecting to our page at How to Become a CNA in North Illinois.


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Free CNA Classes in Chicago 

Grants and Scholarships: 

The fields of healthcare and nursing are rapidly growing and skilled nursing assistants are in high demand. CNAs play a such vital role in patient care, that the growth of CNA jobs is projected to grow 11% by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of this demand, you may qualify for free CNA Classes! There are many federal agencies that will fully or partially fund vocational training. There are specific grants such as the Pell Grant for undergrad students with exceptional financial need and will cover up to $6,000 of expenses in a calendar year. For privately funded scholarships, contact your CNA school to find out if they offer any tuition incentives based on low-income or academic achievement. Even if they won’t fund your tuition, they may be able to provide course textbooks, materials, or uniforms at no cost.  

Do you volunteer? You can also find scholarships or financial aid opportunities through your work with non-profits. For example, the American Red Cross offers the Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship, which was established to promote nursing as a career and foster involvement of new nurses in the Red Cross. The scholarship is available to nursing students (undergraduate or graduate) who are volunteers or employees of an American Red Cross Unit. 

For more information contact: 

Chicago Red Cross 

2200 West Harrison Street  

Chicago, IL 60612 

Phone: (312) 729-6100

If you can’t find a fully-funded CNA program, you can also opt for a partially-funded program such as the Certified Nurse Assistant Training Program with Goodwill Chicago. The 11-week training program provides low-cost CNA classes for low-income students who just pay a nominal eligibility fee and must pass a nurse entrance interview. After graduation, the career counselors also help students find CNA jobs in Chicago for next 5 years. You must be 18 years old, have no criminal background, and pass a reading and math assessment.  

For more information contact: 

Goodwill Chicago

6054 S. Western Avenue  

Chicago, IL 60636 

Phone: (773) 627-5770

Employer Partnerships:

Employers are in need of nursing assistants and many are willing to pay for your training and certification. CNAs are able to promote quickly and advance to levels such as Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses. Due to this career advancement, there is a high turn-around rate for CNAs and employers must fill their nurse vacancies. In Illinois, if you are employed within 12 months of completing the training, you can apply for your employer to reimburse your training.

Before you start your training, search for CNA jobs in Chicago to connect with possible employers. Speak with the Human Resources department and ask if they reimburse for training or if they have partnerships with specific CNA schools. They may even pay for your state exam fees or provide on-the-job training. Nearly half of all CNAs are employed at nursing facilities, followed by 30% at hospitals and 13% at assisted living facilities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Corps: 

Job Corps is the largest free residential education and job training program in the nation. It is a federally funded public agency within the U.S. Department of Labor and is meant to help young people finance their general academics and technical training for vocational-type careers. They can also help you finish your driver’s education, GED or high school diploma if you need one as a prerequisite for your career choice.  

In addition to providing training, Job Corps helps students with daily living expenses such as residential housing, food service, health and dental care, a bi-weekly basic living allowance, and a clothing allowance. Students can move to the Jobs Corps center where they live, train, and study in their chosen career field. When you graduate, there are career advisors and counselors who will help you write your resume, plan your career, continue your training on-the-job, and find CNA jobs in Chicago. 

The Job Corps requirements are: 

  • You must be between the ages of 16-24. The maximum age limit may be waived if the applicant has a documented disability. Minors must have a consent form from a parent or guardian. 

  • You must be a U.S. citizen, a legal U.S. resident, or are a resident of a U.S. territory and/or are authorized to work in the United States.

  • You must be considered income-eligible by public assistance, poverty-level income, homeless status, a foster child, or a qualifier of free or reduced-price lunch. 

  • You must have a child-care plan for any dependent children. 

  • You may not have any criminal convictions, any illegal drug use, any behavioral issues, or be under court supervision. 

Job Corps offers completely Free CNA Classes in Chicago. Students in the Certified Nurse Assistant Program learn how to care for patients’ daily needs, record vital signs, follow emergency procedures, and learn how to care for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. You will have 18+ months to complete the CNA program. To be accepted to the Job Corps nursing assistant program you must: 

  • Meet basic academic requirements in math and reading 

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent 

  • Complete the core curriculum with passing scores 

  • Register with the Illinois Nurse Registry

Contact the Chicago Job Corps Center for more information about their Free CNA program in Chicago.

Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center

3348 S Kedzie Avenue,

Chicago, IL 60623 

Phone: (773) 890-3100


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Top 10 CNA Programs in Chicago 

  1. Career Options, Inc. 

    2644 Dempster St. Suite 116 

    Park Ridge, IL 60068 

    Phone number (847) 297-3900

    Yelp Testimonial:

    Loved the CNA class with Miss Eva, she teaches you everything you need to know. She has years of experience and is very thorough. - Ellen C.

  2. Chicago’s Pulse CPR Training  

    3219 W 111th Street  

    Chicago, IL 60655 

    Phone: (773) 445-2277  

    Yelp Testimonial:

    Chicago's Pulse is a great vocational school to get your C.N.A certification. The instructors are very professional, and they prepare you in advance for the skills and knowledge you will be needing. After i passed my certification exam i was hired within a week, shortly after i was hired, the nursing home that i work for granted me employee of the month. I would like to think that Chicago's Pulse is the reason why i stood out from my peers. Everybody that you meet truly cares about your success and i couldn't recommend this school enough. - Robert T.

  3. Career Training Center of Chicago  

    3525 W Petersen Avenue 

    Chicago, IL 60659 

    Phone: (773) 583-8532  

    Yelp Testimonial:  

    I was struggling to find a school that offers the CNA program within a shortened duration than most traditional schools. Career Training Center of Chicago was just what I needed. I completed the course work within 5 weeks and the cost was very reasonable. The instructors were very helpful and so passionate about the topic they are teaching. They have a great amount of real life knowledge and experience to answer all the students questions. The program also offers clinical training, and the facility used for this was very hands on and gave you the "real life" experience. The staff at the school really did show that they cared about the students and providing them with tools they need to perform as a CNA. Also they were always willing to go more in depth on certain topics and take suggestions for improvements. Overall great experience and would suggest it to anyone looking for a CNA program. - Abbey B.

  4. Nirvana Institute   

    4650 S. King  

    Chicago, IL 60653 

    Phone: (773) 675-4000 

    Yelp Testimonial: 

    Helpful and committed employees to help you achieve your goals in Phlebotomy or CNA. Ms. C couldn't be a more honest and committed instructor. I just took my certification exam and feel I passed it. Waiting on results but because of the one on one classroom, I know we, as a class, did exceptional. - James T. 

  5. Chamberlain College of Nursing 

    3300 North Campbell Avenue 

    Chicago, IL 60618 

    Phone: (773) 961-3000 

    Yelp Testimonial

    Excellent college! Very dedicated to education of so many students! Great Chicago location! - Maxxy C.

  6. International Career Institute  

    6425 Hamlin Avenue  

    Lincolnwood, IL 60712

    Phone: (847) 929-6129 

    Google Testimonial: 

    I took the 4 week summer course. Ms Sanders has a lot of life experience to share which translates into a lot of learning for her students. Ms Sanders makes learning fun, and there is also self learning in the class room. There are review quizzes and tests so you really are prepared and know what to expect. This course worked well for me and was very convenient. And Sheila is a pleasure to deal with as well. - Miriam K.

  7. Verve College

    216 W Jackson Boulevard #900

    Chicago, IL 60606 

    Phone: (312) 920-8822 

    Google Testimonial: 

    I would recommend you to join the college's PN program, as they have most experienced faculties and a focused curriculum. My experience with the college was satisfactory and successfully cleared the NCLEX-PN licensure exam in my first attempt only. - Nicole P.

  8. Midwestern Career College   

    20 N Upper Wacker Drive #3800 

    Chicago, IL 60606 

    Phone: (312) 236-9000 

    Google Testimonial: 

    As a physician, I find MCC's graduates well prepared for the industry. I encourage more students to pursue the Medical Assistant program. MCC take great pride in their students education. The students graduate well prepared and highly employable. - Beatrisa P.

  9. Chicago Community Learning Center

    4753 N Broadway #602 

    Chicago, IL 60604 

    Phone: (773) 506-1503  

    Google Testimonial: 

    Im doing patient care tech program. Ms. Nadia is great!! - Dominique S.

  10. TTI Medical Training   

    5310 N Harlem Avenue Ste 209 

    Chicago, IL 60656 

    Phone: (773) 774-2222

    Google Testimonial: 

    My experiences at TTI Medical School was magnificent. I recently became a Certified Nursing Assistant, EKG, Phlebotomy, PCT and Medical Assistant at this school. Currently I work as a PCT at Loyola University Medical Center and I have been loving it so far. TTI staff are wonderful people to work with. They helped me to achieve my goals. Ms. Anna, Mr. Rick, Ms. Monika and the instructors did everything for me to become successful in my career. I will always go back for a visit. I love this school. It is my favorite. - Ridwan T.


State-Approved CNA Programs in Chicago 

Alberto Rosario DBA Ohana Community Services
Social Service Organization
4931 W Thomas St.,

Chicago, IL
(773) 313-6646

Brownstone Services Helping Those in Need
236 West 17th Street
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(708) 431-1446

Malcom X College
1900 West Jackson Blvd,
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 850-7000

Abbey Home Health Services
4554 North Broadway Street, Suite 242
Chicago, IL
(773) 784-0044

Apex Home Health Services
6160 North Cicero Ave #310
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 202-1948

Allied Healthcare & Training Center
5850 N. Lincoln Ave #207
Chicago, IL 60659
(773) 989-5979

Carepaks Health Services Inc.
4554 North Broadway #238
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 784-7500

Competent Healthcare
2820 West Montrose Ave,
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 249-4644

Doctor’s Choice Home Care
600 West Cermak Road,
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 666-1111

Magnificent Health Care & CPR Inc.
2046 West Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(773) 856-3203

Midwestern Career College
20 North Upper Wacker Drive #3800
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 236-9000

Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Ave
Champaign, IL 61821
(217) 351-2200

Polish American Association
3834 North Cicero Avenue
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 282-8206

Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center
2233 West Division Street,
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 770-2000

The Nirvana Institute
4605 South King Drive, Suite 202
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 675-4000