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Basic Nursing Assistant

Nursing Assistants work as caregivers in all types of health care facilities and agencies under the supervision of nurses. Advancement in the health care field is possible with further education.

This program prepares students to enter the health care workforce. Attendance in class is mandatory to meet federal and state standards set for nursing assistants. All students must achieve grades of “C” or above in theory and complete 40 clinical hours in order to receive a certificate of completion. The program is approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for the Nurse Aide Training Competency Evaluation. The program is 80 hours of theory in the classroom and 40 hours of clinical experience in an area health care facility.


Must be completed prior to admission.

  • Candidate must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Accuplacer reading score of 40 or above, or equivalent ACT score.
  • Attend a Basic Nursing Assistant orientation session.
  • Two-step TB test or equivalent.
  • Health care worker background check.
  • Influenza vaccine or signed declination form.
  • Valid social security card.
  • Physical Exam.


In order to attend the Basic Nursing Assistant Course, students must register for and attend a mandatory orientation session. Students are able to register for this when they register for the course. All orientations sessions will be held prior to the start of the class.

Orientation Dates: Please refer to your current course schedule for the MANDATORY orientation date, time, and location.


HCC has a hybrid Basic Nursing Assistant course that allows students to complete the majority of assignments and testing online while class time is limited to review of material and lab time. The student does need to complete the 40 hours of clinical time within Highland’s district.


In compliance with the Illinois Department of Public Health, Highland Community College has developed a process for nursing assistants to recertify if he/she has not provided a minimum of eight hours nursing or nursing related services for pay within a consecutive 24 month period.

In order for a nursing assistant to be eligible for recertification, he/she must:

  • Not have any administrative findings of abuse, neglect or theft.
  • Have an Illinois State Police (ISP) Criminal History Records Check recorded on the
    Health Care Worker Registry, that was conducted pursuant to the Health Care Worker
    Background Check Act, and shows no disqualifying offense(s); or, if there is a disqualifying offense(s), a waiver must have been granted. To see if an individual is on the Health Care Worker Registry, please visit: and “Search the Health Worker Registry” (on the right side of the screen). A form ISP 6-405B for a name-based background check is sent to the nursing assistant; he/she may request a fingerprint background check form the ISP. Once the results of the background check are received, the nursing assistant must mail it to the Registry at the address provided.
  • Demonstrate competence in all 21 Performance Skills as defined in Section 395.50 of the Illinois Administrative Code. These 21 Performance Skills must be evaluated by anApproved Evaluator in accordance with the established guidelines. The nursing assistant will need to contact Cassie Mekeel, BNA Coordinator at 815-599-3685 or to register for the recertification course. The nursing assistant must successfully pass this Performance Skills evaluation before applying to take the state written competency exam.
  • Pass the state written competency examination which is administered by Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), Illinois Nurse Assistant Training Competency Evaluation Program at various sites throughout the state. The website,, provides test site dates and locations, a practice test and answers to frequently asked questions. If an individual fails the state written competency exam three times, he/she must successfully complete a Department approved BNATP before taking the exam again.
    Visit Illinois Nurse Aide Testing to get a copy of the Nursing Assistant Training Performance Skill Evaluation Packet. The direct link is:
    Or visit and go to the Program Coordinators & Instructors Tab, click on Forms, and then IDPH Performance Skills Manual – May 2009.

Contact information Highland Community College BNA Coordinator:
Cassie Mekeel, 815-599-3685 or

Checklist for the Re-certification Process

_____    Currently active on the Health Care Worker Registry OR completed the appropriate paperwork, submitted to the Health Care Worker Registry, and completed the fingerprint background check at an approved livescan vendor.

_____    Complete a TWO-STEP TB Skin test

_____    Contact the BNA Program Coordinator at Highland Community College (815-599-3685 or to register for the course

_____    Register for the SPTP 160 course at Highland Community College Admissions Office to be enrolled in the Moodle Course

_____    Complete the Moodle Course pre-work assigned

_____    Set date for the 21 Performance Skills Check off through Moodle

_____    Once received from SIUC, complete and send in the Competency Exam Application scantron

_____    Pass the state written competency examination administered by SIUC.

Once the Registry has received the background check results and the Performance Skills Verification Form, a Registry Verification Form and a Competency Exam Application scantron for the written test will be mailed to the nursing assistant. The nursing assistant will complete the scantron form and mail it along with the Registry Verification to SIUC. The nursing assistant will be notified of the test date, time and location by a letter from SIUC. After the nursing assistant has taken the written exam, test results are mailed to the individual and are added to the Registry.

Basic Nursing Assistant (BNA) – course

Nursing Administration and Advisor

Jennifer Grobe, PhD, RN, CCM, CNE, Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health , 815.599.3688
Click here for Dr. Grobe’s Bio
Alicia Kepner, CMA-AAMA, Coordinator, Nursing Program and Lab, 815.599.3679
Click here for Ms.Kepner’s Bio
Heather Moore, Nursing Program Student Advisor, 815.599.3483

Our BNA Faculty:

Cassie Mekeel, CBS, RN, BNA Coordinator, 815.599.3685
Click here for Ms. Mekeel’s Bio
Shelly Morgan, MSN, CMS-RN, 815.599.3727
Click here for Ms. Morgan’s Bio
Kay Sperry, MSN,RN-BC., 815.599.3684
Jessica Larson, MSN, RN 815.599.3452

Nursing Scholarship Opportunities:
View all of our scholarships here.

Highland Campus

2998 W. Pearl City Rd. Freeport, IL 61032


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