Rock Valley College

Nursing Aide Certificate (CNA)

Certificate: 7 credits (Limited Transfer & Limited Enrollment)
Program Length: 8 weeks, 11 weeks, 14 weeks or 16 weeks, depending on the course section
Nursing Program Contact: (815) 921-3261

For more information, please email Amanda Lonsway at

Program Overview

The Nursing Aide Certificate Program prepares students to enter the health care workforce and a pathway to allied health and nursing careers. A flexible program of schedule options includes morning, afternoon, or evening sessions. Mandatory health requirements must be met. Students who complete the program with a grade of “C” or better are eligible for the Nurse Training Competency Evaluation. The program has a mandatory requirement of 80 hours of theory in the classroom and 40 hours of clinical experience in a long-term care facility. Classroom, skill labs, and clinical attendance are required. This course is a prerequisite for the Nursing A.A.S. Degree in Nursing program.

NOTE Age Requirement: All students must be a minimum of 16 years of age at the beginning of the course. This is a U.S. Department of Labor regulation. 

Application Process and Deadlines

  1. Apply to Rock Valley College
  2. Determine English and Math Placement
    • Placement can be determined using a variety of measures which include ACT or SAT scores within the past three years, a high school transcript if graduation was within the last five years, and college transcripts from other colleges and universities. There is also free placement testing for students who do not achieve placement by one of the measures listed above.
    • Please submit ACT/SAT score reports, high school transcripts, and/or college transcripts to the Records Office at If a student needs to take placement testing, the Testing Center can be reached at 815-921-2380 for more information.
  3. Attend a Tech Connect Session
  4. Watch the MANDATORY Information Session Video
    •  If you do not watch this, you will not be able to register for the course
  5. Fingerprinting and Criminal Background Check
    • Information is provided in the CNA PowerPoint listed as #4 above
    • Requires a valid Social Security Number and a photo ID
    • Cost: $34.50 (subject to change)
    • It is possible that a student's criminal background will prevent participation in clinical practice, thereby preventing program admission.
  6. Register for Nursing Aide 101

Nursing Aide Program

The nursing aide program provides clinical education at various long-term care facilities.  The nursing aide program must adhere to these facilities' requirements.  All admitted students will be required to provide the following at the expense of the student.
  • Physical exam with NO lifting restrictions
  • COVID vaccine
  • TB 2-Step
  • Seasonal flu vaccine

Number Title
  NAD-101 Nursing Aide

Time (subject to change)

  • Morning, afternoon and evening courses are offered and the exact days and times of those sections vary depending on the fall, spring and summer semesters.  


Nursing Assistant classes are held at the Health Sciences Center, 3301 North Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61114.

Program Attendance & Expectations

Students are required to attend all days of the Nursing Aide program. This is mandated by IDPH.  This includes attendance to orientation days, lectures, skills lab and clinical. All students are expected to provide their own transportation to clinical sites.

NOTE:  Students should plan for at least a 30 minute travel time between clinical site and the main campus if they have scheduled classes either before or after NAD 101.

This Nursing Aide course requires a "C", which is 80% to pass.

Program Completion

Upon successful completion of the Nursing Aide program, students will sit for the Illinois Nurse Assistant/Aide Competency Examination to earn the credentials of CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant).  This process has additional fees.

  • Approximately $75

COSTS/FEES (subject to change)


View a detailed list of the CNA course tuition and fee costs.


Nursing/Allied Health Office
Health Sciences Center
Rock Valley College
3301 North Mulford Road
Rockford, IL 61114
Ph: (815) 921-3261

Gainful Employment Program Requirements

Choose the year to view Gainful Employment information for this program/certificate. Gainful Employment information includes program costs, length of time to complete the program, potential occupations tied to this program, as well as success rates and job placement rates where applicable.


Program Disclosure: 

The Certified Nursing Assistant Program at Rock Valley College meets the state education requirements for a certified nursing assistant in the State of Illinois. Rock Valley College has not determined if the CNA program at Rock Valley College meets the state education requirements in any other state, any U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia.  Requirements for each state can be found on each states Department of Public Health websites.  

Potential Careers & Wages