BNA Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Nursing Assistant (BNA) Program to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

What costs will I incur before, during, and after graduation from the BNA/CNA Program? How long is the BNA/CNA Program?

Once all admissions criteria have been completed, the BNA/CNA Program is either an 8-week or 16-week* course. Upon successful completion of this course and successful completion of the state test, you will be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and placed on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Health Care Worker Registry.
*A 16 week course option may not be offered every semester as it is subject to instructor and clinical site availability.

Do you offer a waiting list for the BNA/CNA Program?

No. Registration is open to all students that have successfully completed the admission criteria.  After the course is filled, it is our recommendation that you watch the class daily in case a student drops the course before the start date. 

Do you offer a part-time, online, or evening program? When are the classes/clinicals offered?

Multiple sections of the Kishwaukee BNA/CNA Program are offered every 8-weeks. There are day schedules and evening schedules available. Clinicals normally are held during the last two weeks of the course. Visit myKC for availability.  You will need to select the term, "nursing", and type in "100".

Will child care be provided while I am attending the BNA/CNA Program?

While the Nursing Program at Kishwaukee does not offer child care, Kishwaukee College does have a child care center on campus. Please visit the Early Childhood Center for more information or contact Steve Kimmel, Director of Early Childhood Center, at 815-825-9880 for enrollment and tuition information.

What accreditation does the BNA/CNA Program have?

The Kishwaukee College Basic Nursing Assistant Program is approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

How many students are accepted into the BNA/CNA Program?

We accept up to 120 students into the BNA/CNA Program each year. Currently up to 48 students are accepted in the Spring semester, up to 24 student in the Summer semester, and up to 48 students in the Fall semester.

Is there preference over in-district versus out-of-district students?

Out-of-district students are accepted in the same admission pool as Kishwaukee College residents. No distinction is made between in-district versus out-of-district students for admission purposes. However, out-of-district students are subject to out-of-district tuition. Please visit the Tuition & Fees page for more information. 

How do I know if I am considered in-district or out-of-district?

You may check your voter’s registration card for Kishwaukee College District 523. You may also contact the Admissions Office at 815-825-9375.

What are the admissions criteria for the BNA/CNA Program?

Download a PDF to view admission criteria for the BNA/CNA Program.

What scholarships do you offer for the BNA/CNA Program? Will I need a background check in order to participate in the BNA/CNA Program?

Yes. You will need a fingerprint background check completed before the start of the course. Information on this will be provided upon enrollment. The cost is already included within your tuition and fees.

Will I need a drug test in order to participate in the BNA/CNA Program?

Yes. You will need a drug test completed through DeKalb County Health Department.  The drug test is to be completed within one week of the first day of class.  Further information will be provided at the orientation. No appointment is necessary. No payment is required at the time of the drug test; this fee is already included in your tuition, and is non-refundable if you decide to drop/withdraw from the course. DeKalb County Health Department will have a listing of the qualified students to take the drug test for Kishwaukee College students.

Will I need a particular type of uniform? What supplies will I need?

This information will be covered during the first week of class. The uniforms that are needed is a light blue scrub top and navy scrub pants with all white or black tennis shoes. Shoes must have covered heels and covered toes for safety reasons. Students will be required to have a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, goggles, and gait belt. A watch with a second hand will also be needed. These items may be purchased in the Kishwaukee College Bookstore. Please ask your instructor if you have any further questions regarding uniforms and/or supplies.

Upon successful completion of the Program, will I be Certified to work as a CNA?

Students will be eligible to take the Illinois Nurse Assistant Training Competency Exam. Upon successful completion of this exam, the students name is placed on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Health Care Worker Registry for Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). 
You may access testing days and times at area schools, including Kishwaukee, at Please note that at the end of the BNA/CNA program, your instructor will help you fill out information to apply to test.

How much is the state exam?

The current cost is $65.00 and is subject to change without prior notice. Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (SIUC) institutes this fee.  After July 1, 2017 this fee will be increasing to $67.00.

What should I bring with me to the CNA Illinois Nurse Assistant Training Competency Exam?

Students will be required to bring a valid state-issued picture ID. Students will also need to bring No. 2 sharpened pencils with erasers. No calculators will be allowed.

If I miss my scheduled State Exam day/time, what should I do?

You will need to contact Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (SIUC) to reschedule your exam. They may be contacted at 618-453-4368. Kishwaukee is the program site and testing site only. SIUC administers the testing. A fee is required to reschedule the exam.

What is the job placement for BNA/CNA and Nursing graduates from Kishwaukee College? Will you offer me guidance for job placement?

Our nursing graduates have experienced very high job placement into CNA positions. The nursing department invites surrounding agencies to our Job Fair/Career Day, which we hold twice a year. This gives our current students and upcoming graduates a chance to become familiar with the agency, to recognize different options within the field, and possibly gain a position with one of the agencies.

Where can I get more information?

For additional information listed, please contact

BNA Coordinator at 815-825-9464.