Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certificate

Practical Nursing (PNC) Certificate at Harper College

Become a certified nursing assistant

Program facts  Education icon

  • Credit hours: 6
  • Stackable to degree: Yes
  • Potential job outcomes: Certified nursing assistant (CNA)

Prepare for a career as a certified nursing assistant with this 6-credit-hour certificate program. 

You’ll learn basic skills needed to assist nurses in the care of patients across a wide variety of health care settings and provide basic bedside care such as eating, dressing and bathing.

Get hands-on experience practicing your skills in Harper College’s Nursing Laboratory, a state-of-the-art simulated clinical environment.

After completing the program, you’ll qualify for full-time employment in long-term care facilities, home health agencies, hospitals and other settings. Course credit earned for this program can be applied to the Nursing AAS Degree program.

Students can take CNA classes at Harper's main campus in Palatine or at the Learning and Career Center in Prospect Heights. Additionally, dual-credit opportunities exist for students at participating high schools. 

For information on how to get started, see the CNA Admissions page.

Certificate program requirements

This 6 credit-hour certificate program provides theory and training in the basic skills essential to the practice of health care workers who will assist the nurse in the care of patients in a variety of health care settings. Includes simulated practice and opportunity for clinical application. The course is approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Office of Health Regulations. Successful completion is required for application for the Nurse Aide Competency Exam. NOTE: All students are required to have a valid Social Security number, pass a criminal background check and meet health requirements. Special fees apply.

Opportunities for employment are found in settings such as long-term care facilities, home health agencies, hospitals, and private duty.

This program is part of Harper’s Dual Credit Career Partnership. Applicants from this high school Dual Credit Career Partnership must have completed the 11th grade prior to entering and must also meet the program’s special admission requirements. Special admission requirement options include ENG 097, ENG 100 or ENG 101 with a grade of C or better, ESL 073 with a grade of B or better, RDG 099 with a grade of C or better or other placement options viewable in the CNA 101 course description.


A grade of C or better in this course is required for this certificate.

Number Course Title Credits
CNA 101 6

Program learning outcomes

  • Communicate effectively with patients, family and staff.
  • Demonstrate basic nursing skills while caring for patients.
  • Establish and maintain a safe and pleasant environment.
  • Follow the nursing care plan in providing care.
  • Give simple emotional and psychological support to the patient and family members.
  • Identify the organization of the health care institution and its function.
  • Record observations and maintain records specific to the long-term facility and/or hospital or home health agency.
  • Report observations related to the patient's condition to an immediate supervisor.

Related programs

Students interested in nursing may also be interested in:


Next steps

For more information about CNA courses at Harper College, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.