Basic Nurse Assistant (BNA) Program Information


This one-semester, 7-credit course (NUR 105) prepares students to perform many basic patient care skills through the classroom as well as hands-on lab and clinical training. Graduates of the BNA program who obtain CNA certification often obtain immediate employment in numerous skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, hospitals, or home health agencies throughout the region.

Program Approval

Earn an industry-recognized credential that is highly valued by local employers. ECC's BNA program is approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Graduates of the program who pass the Illinois State Competency Written Evaluation will become Certified Nursing Assistants and be placed on the Illinois Healthcare Worker Registry.

Course Information

The BNA program is a 7-credit course consisting of classroom/lab time as well as clinical hours. Students complete clinical hours at a local healthcare facility under the supervision of an ECC instructor. The BNA course covers topics such as the rights and responsibilities of nursing assistants, how to care for patients/residents, emergency care, infection control, and caring for people with dementia/Alzheimer’s disease.

How do I Register for the Basic Nursing Assistant Program?

Students can register for the BNA Program (NUR 105) if seats are available after completing the health professions online application.  To be eligible for NUR 105, students must be at least 16 years of age. Prior to the start of class, students must submit the following:  Results of a fingerprint background check and drug test, a completed Health Professions Personal Medical History Form - PDF signed by a licensed medical provider including proof of required immunizations and 2-step TB test, proof of health insurance, and current BLS CPR certification. All students who register for NUR 105 must attend a BNA orientation day which will take place prior to the start of the actual ECC semester to begin to learn strategies to be successful in the program. The state of Illinois requires that all BNA students be at least 16 years old and have a social security number for a required background check at the start of the program. After a student registers for NUR 105, the ECC Health Professions office will send an email with information about these requirements.

What's the Difference Between a CNA and a BNA Program?

The quick answer is certification. In order to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), graduates of ECC's BNA program must take the Illinois State Competency Written Evaluation. This exam is given at ECC each month. For more information, visit CNA Competency Testing Instructions. ECC graduates consistently have had a first-time exam pass rate above 94%.

Getting a Job as a Nursing Assistant

Prepare to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) by taking ECC's Basic Nurse Assistant (BNA) Training Program. CNAs are in high demand in the northern Illinois region, and the Nursing Department regularly posts job opportunities for students. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that CNA jobs will grow by 8% by 2030. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nursing Assistants and Orderlies, (accessed December 22, 2021).

See details about the salary and job opportunities as a nursing assistant (sometimes called a nursing aid) on the ECC Career Coach site.

Work as a Nursing Assistant Apprentice with ECC's Program

ECC has a U.S. Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program for nursing assistants. In this program, employers sponsor students to go through ECC's BNA program. For more information, fill out the student information request for ECC's Apprenticeship Program.

Learn More about the BNA Program at ECC

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Learn more about the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program at ECC!

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