SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A measure requiring the nursing assistant certification exam be offered in both English and Spanish, authored by state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, recently passed the Illinois House of Representatives.

“This progress is the result of a very real case of a person who was only fluent in Spanish being denied the chance to become a nursing assistant because the exam is only available in English. At a time in which Illinois is facing a shortage of caregivers, we are turning away people who want to do that good work without good cause,” Hernandez said. “This legislation will help address that shortage, while promoting equity in an important field; one which often calls for Spanish as a valuable skill to help give the best care possible.”

Hernandez crafted House Bill 5218 in conjunction with the Health Care Council of Illinois, who came to her with the story of a person who was unable to pursue a career as a nursing assistant because the test was restricted to English. It passed with strong bipartisan support and is now going to the Senate for consideration.

“We’re going to be able to offer people in communities across the state the opportunities to get good-paying jobs helping people that need it,” Hernandez said. “This measure a step towards equity, and a step towards filling the shortage of caregivers that Illinois is currently overcoming.”

Rep. Barbara HernandezRep. Barbara Hernandez

50th District

Springfield Office:
519-C Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1002

District Office:
540 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 270-1848