Nurse Assistant

Nurse Assistant at a Glance

Nurse Assistant
  • Starting Salary: $24,000
  • Level of Patient Contact: High
  • Length of Program: One course, one semester
  • Program Location and Start Time: Multiple campuses, every semester
  • IDPH approved CNA training program
  • Criminal background check required
  • Attendance to all class sessions required
  • Classes fill quickly, register early!

More Information

 After reviewing the information found on this page, students interested in the Nurse Assistant program should direct questions to Coordinators' Assistant Candice Rodgers.

 

Career Overview

Job Description

Nurse Assistants:

  • Work under the supervision of a nurse
  • Help patients or residents perform basic daily activities
  • Provide simple, routine nursing care procedures
  • Take temperatures, blood pressure, pulse and respiration
  • Measure food/fluid intake and output
  • Assist with feeding, walking and grooming activities

Performance Essentials

To successfully complete the program and practice as a Certified Nurse Assistant, students must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Interested students are encouraged to meet with the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

Career Resources

Visit the SWIC Career Activities and Employment Center for more information on career exploration & mentoring.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides information about the Nurse Assistant field.

The Illinois Department of Public Health website provides Certified Nurse Assistant registry and health care worker background check requirements.

The Illinois Nurse Aide Testing website provides additional information about testing locations, schedules and requirements.

Career Opportunities

Certified nurse assistants work in a variety of settings:

  • Long-term patient care facilities
  • Home health care
  • Hospitals
  • Other medical facilities

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nursing aides is projected to grow 21 percent between 2012 and 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities in this field are excellent.

Salary

Starting Salary

The average starting salary for nurse assistants is $18,000-$22,000 plus benefits.

Annual Salary

Nationally, average annual wages for nurse assistants are around $24,000 per year (plus benefits) and vary depending on the location and type of health care facility.

Hourly Wage

Nationally, average hourly wages for nurse assistants are around $11 per hour and vary depending on the location and type of health care facility.

Enrollment Requirements

 Students must complete the following to enroll in HRO 105:

If you haven't yet, take the reading part of the COMPASS test

The COMPASS tests reading, writing and math skills. To take the Nurse Assistant course, the student needs to take the reading part of the COMPASS test. Reading scores that are high enough to let a student enroll in ENG 92 (Intermediate Reading) are required to take the HRO 105 - Nurse Assistant course.

If reading scores aren't high enough, students have to pass ENG 91 (Basic Reading) before they can take the HRO 105 - Nurse Assistant course.

Click on a location to see the dates, times and locations for testing. No appointment is required:

Belleville Campus618-235-2700, ext. 5182
Sam Wolf Granite City Campus618-235-2700, ext. 7337
Red Bud Campus618-235-200, ext. 8114
East St. Louis Community College Center618-874-6592

 

Remember:

  • A picture ID is required to take the test.
  • Know your SWIC student ID number that you received after submitting the New Student Information Form.
  • If do not know your Student ID number, contact Enrollment Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5526.
  • Look at the practice questions before taking the COMPASS test.

New Students

New SWIC students are encouraged to complete the New Student Orientation.

Background Check

Health Care Worker Background Check Act

Criminal background checks are required for all health care workers with direct patient contact. Checks are initiated the first day of class.

Students must pass the background check in order to remain in the course, be eligible to take the certification exam and to become employed as a certified nurse assistant (CNA).

Students with disqualifying convictions will be dropped unless they have an Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) waiver.

Certificate Overview

The SWIC Nurse Assistant course is approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which allows our graduates to apply for the Nurse Assistant Competency Examination for Certification after course completion.

Nurse Assistant Certificate (025A)

The Nurse Assistant Certificate (025A) consists of a single course, HRO 105: Nurse Assistant. This is a seven credit-hour course consisting of lecture, lab, and clinical education.

During this course, students will learn:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Personal care of patients
  • Body mechanics
  • Vital signs
  • Special treatments

Clinical Education Experiences

Clinical experience is a required component of this course. Clinical practice is completed in area nursing homes and hospitals and occurs in the last 10 days of a 16-week-long course section and the last eight classes for the six-week scheduled course sections.

Clinical experience is generally completed during the same time frame as the course lecture/lab time, except for HRO 105-001 in the fall and spring semesters. For HRO 105-001 (in the fall and spring semesters), clinicals are scheduled in the morning, which differs from scheduled class time.

Program Overview

Program Capacity

Classes Offered Every Semester

HRO 105: Nurse Assistant classes are offered each fall, spring and summer semester. Multiple sections of the course are offered and each section generally has room for 10-20 students. Refer to the current course schedule for location, dates and times.

Space is Limited

These classes fill extremely quickly, so it is important to register as soon as possible. Plan to enroll for summer and fall semester courses in April and spring semester courses in November.

Program Location

HRO 105 Locations

HRO 105: Nurse Assistant is offered at the SWIC Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City, Red Bud campuses, as well as the East St. Louis Community College Center. Refer to the current course schedule for location, dates and times.

Clinical Experience Locations

Clinical experience will be provided in area nursing homes and hospitals. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from all clinical and classroom experience.

Program Cost

Nurse Assistant Certificate

For details, see the Nurse Assistant cost sheet.

Time Commitment

Fall and Spring Semesters

HRO 105 is offered in 16-week and accelerated six-week formats with both classroom and clinical training during the fall and spring semesters. This course is offered at a variety of times and days of the week.

Reminder: Clinical experience is generally completed during the same time frame as the course lecture/lab time, except for HRO 105-001 in the fall and spring semesters. For HRO 105-001, clinicals are scheduled in the morning, which differs from scheduled class time.

Summer Semester

HRO 105 summer sessions are offered in an eight-week format. This course is offered at a variety of times and days of the week.

Attendance

Attendance to ALL class sessions is required. Students missing the first day of class will be dropped and will not qualify for a full refund of tuition/fees. Any missed time is cumulative.

More Details

Additional Requirements

The following criteria are required of all students enrolled in HRO 105, and all information will be explained in detail on the first day of class.

Attendance

Attendance to ALL class sessions is required. Students missing the first day of class will be dropped and will not qualify for a full refund of tuition/fees. Any missed time is cumulative.

Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 16 years of age, have completed at a minimum 8 years of grade school or provide proof of equivalent knowledge, in good physical and emotional health, and have good interpersonal communication skills.

Background Check and Drug Testing

Criminal background checks, required for all health care workers with direct patient contact, are initiated on the first day of class. Some clinical sites may require drug testing. Students must pass the background check in order to remain in the course, be eligible to take the certification exam and to become employed as a certified nurse assistant (CNA).

Refer to the IDPH website for a list of disqualifying convictions and further information regarding requirements to become a CNA in the state of Illinois. Students are responsible for the cost of this background check. Details will be provided regarding when and where to complete the background check on the first day of class. For more information, contact the Health Sciences coordinators' assistant.

 

Drug testing required for clinicals at Red Bud Campus.

Auto and Health Insurance

Students enrolling in all Health Science programs should be aware that some clinical facilities may require auto and/or health insurance. Malpractice insurance, when required, is provided by the college though assessment of lab fees.

Medical Requirements

A physical examination and certain immunizations are required.

New Students

New SWIC students are encouraged to complete the New Student Orientation.

Work Requirements

Employment in Illinois

While employment requirements vary from state to state, Illinois requires that nurse assistants graduate from an approved nurse assistant course and pass the Nurse Assistant Competency Examination to qualify for employment.

The Illinois Nurse Aide Testing website provides additional information about testing locations, schedules and requirements.

Contacts

For more information about this program, please contact:

Coordinators' Assistant Candice Rodgers

618-235-2700, ext. 5355
Candice.Rodgers@swic.edu

Enrollment Admissions Evaluators

618-235-2700,
ext. 5541 or 5542

Counseling Center

618-235-2700, ext. 5206