Sen. Villa

SPRINGFIELD – A measure championed by State Senator Karina Villa to expand opportunities for Spanish-speakers to become certified nursing assistants passed the Senate on Thursday.

“Promoting the diversity of our health care workforce is crucial for increasing the quality of care in communities across Illinois,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “It is essential for patients to be able to connect with their health care providers without encountering a language barrier.”

House Bill 5218 would require the Illinois Department of Public Health to create rules to offer the nursing assistant certification exam in Spanish while preventing restrictions on eligibility for individuals seeking to take the exam in Spanish.

“We must remove barriers that prevent qualified and skilled workers from becoming certified nursing assistants, especially during our current health care worker shortage,” said Villa. “Supporting these individuals will help address this issue and will expand the skill pool in the health care field.”

House Bill 5218 passed the Senate on Thursday.