Basic Nurse Assistant (BNA) Program Information


This one-semester, 7-credit course (NUR 105) prepares students to perform basic patient care skills through the classroom, 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.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

About 220,200 job openings for Nursing Assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Future employment for Basic Nurse Assistants is expected to be strong, as the demand for healthcare services is projected to grow due to an aging population and an increase in chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Refer to Career Coach for more information regarding similar occupations and compensation.

Median Pay Rates

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the basic nurse assistant plan of study and course descriptions.

Basic Vocational Certificate

Program Approval

Earn an industry-recognized credential that local employers highly value. The Illinois Department of Public Health approves ECC's BNA program. 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 with classroom/lab time and clinical hours. Students complete clinical hours at a local health care 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?

After completing the health professions online application, students can register for the BNA Program (NUR 105) if seats are available. To be eligible for NUR 105, students must be at least 16 years of age. Before 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 before 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. To work as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), ECC's BNA program graduates 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%.

How much does a Nursing Assistant make?

The median annual wage for nursing assistants is $36,486, ranging from $23,880 to $44,240. Prepare to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) by taking ECC's Basic Nurse Assistant (BNA) Training Program. CNAs are in high demand in northern Illinois, and the Nursing Department regularly posts student job opportunities. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that CNA jobs will grow 8% by 2030. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nursing Assistants and Orderlies, (accessed October 6, 2023).

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. Employers sponsor students to go through ECC's BNA program in this program. For more information, fill out the student information request for ECC's Apprenticeship Program.

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

Earning an AAS degree or certificate at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

Program Admissions