Fundamentals of Nursing

Have successfully completed a nursing arts course (e.g., Basics in Nursing, Fundamentals of Nursing, Nursing 101, etc.)

  •  If a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) has a current, valid Illinois license and is in good standing, he or she can work as a CNA without being on the registry.
  • An RN or LPN with a current, valid license from another state cannot work as an Illinois CNA until the registry shows that the individual has met the training requirements.
  • An Illinois RN or LPN with an inactive license cannot work as an Illinois CNA until the registry shows that the individual has met the training requirements.
  • Nursing students can apply to be an Illinois CNA.
    • Provide written verification that the individual has successfully completed the Fundamentals of Nursing and at least 40 hours of supervised clinical experience in an accredited nurse training program.
    • Pass a written competency test within 12 months of the date of submission by the nursing school.
  • The Nursing student application to become an Illinois Nurse Aide (CNA) is a one-time eligibility application procedure. Once you apply, you become ineligible to resubmit a Nursing student application in the future unless otherwise instructed by INACE or the Health Care Worker Registry.

Nursing schools that certify Fundamentals of Nursing students must obtain credentials from the SIUC Illinois Nursing Assistant Competency Examination (INACE) project. To speak to a representative about participating in this process, please call 877-262-9259. [Nursing Student Form]

Once your nursing school has verified that you have completed a Fundamentals of Nursing course and 40 hours of supervised clinicals, you are eligible to take the competency exam. Your nursing school will electronically submit your required information to the INACE program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Nurse Aide Testing Project. You have 12 months from the date of submission in which to successfully complete the exam. You should receive an email that directs you to the website where you will verify your eligibility, create an account and purchase a seat for testing. There are approximately 50 test sites across the state of Illinois where you may test. You may select a computer-based test (CBT) based on availability in your area. Directions for this process are available on this website under the heading EXAM REGISTRATION, subheading STUDENTS.