Nursing assistants/aides working in licensed and or certified skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities and home health agencies must be certified. Certification is achieved primarily by successfully completing a state-approved nursing assistant training program, a competency test covering 21 mandated manual skills and a written competency test. Illinois does accept several equivalencies, with proper documentation, such as reciprocity for persons whose names are on other states’ nurse aide registries and whose certification is current and in good standing, student nurses, foreign nurses and those with specific military medical training. Individuals with any of the above equivalencies are required to take a written competency test.

All nursing assistants, including those employed by intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled and home health aides, must be listed on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Nurse Aide Registry. Training programs for developmental disability aides are coordinated by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Nurse aides are placed on the Illinois Nurse Aide Registry after meeting the required training and competency testing criteria or equivalency criteria and undergoing a criminal background check. The Health Care Worker Background Check Act requires health care employers to conduct Illinois State Police criminal history record checks on employees who have responsibility for direct care and who are not otherwise licensed by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation or the Department of Public Health. In long-term care facilities, the law primarily applies to certified nurse aides. As the result of criminal history record checks, persons with disqualifying convictions in any of 28 areas may not work in a position having direct care responsibilities without a waiver issued by the Department.

A facility must contact the Department to verify a nurse aide’s registry status prior to employment. Verifications can be made by phone or mail or through this Web site.

Search the Health Care Worker Registry

Approved Training Programs

How to Become a CNA

Online Forms

idph online home
Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-785-5133
Fax 217-524-0137
TTY 800-547-0466
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