Sorry to disagree...CNAs typically have an 8 week program with minimal nursing education..the State of Illinois requires they only know how to do 21 different things (transferring, bathing)..see the website Illinois Nurse Aide Testing - Performance Skills Videos
for Illinois list of CNA skills. CNAs are taught very little assessment skills, nor can they pass meds, give injections, regulate IVs, insert NG tubes as a LPN does. Those things simply are not in the list of skills a CNA is taught in Illinois.
Some hospitals do hire LPNs and some do not. The differing factor probably is whether or not the hospital is seeking "Magnet Status". To acquire Magnet Status on of the requirements is an all RN staff...which, unfortunately does not mean only RNs work there...Magnet Hospitals also hire Nurse Assistants which they might call CNAs, PCTs or by some other title.
Currently, because of the economy, it is very difficult to get into a ADN program...many people applying into the ADN programs have degrees in other fields, some even Masters Degrees, and because of job shortages are now going back to school for nursing..so competition for spots in the ADN programs is tough. It might be easier to get into a LPN program right now than it would be to get into an ADN program. If you live in Naperville you are in DuPage County and the College of DuPage does offer a 1 year LPN program. They only accept 40 students into the program a year. The 2011 semester starts January and that class is full. If you wish to get into the 2012 class begin applying right now (Dec 2010) because they decide on the final 40 LPN candidates about 6 months before the class begins. So apply early.
College of DuPage also has a ADN program which accepts about 30 or so students a year only....and while it is a good program, they are not currently an accreteded (sorry about the misspelling) school. Your other choice of Community school is Elgin Community College which is in Kane County. They have a RN (ADN) program (no specific LPN program) however students can take the LPN exam after completing the first year of the program. Their admission too, is very limited, probably also about 30 to 40 students a year.
Contrary to what a few others have said, there are currently only a few "Bridge Programs" for LPN to RN...some are currently "on hold" for applicants because most only accept an applicant if someone drops out of the second year of their ADN program..so spots are rare indeed. There is only one on-line LPN to RN program in the Midwest right now..and it is located in Indiana. So there are really not that many 'Bridge Programs" out there at this time. (I have been researching this topic for some of my students recently)
There are also 4 programs in Illinois that offer an entry level Masters Degree program to persons that have a College Degree in other fields. After these students complete the Masters Program then they take the Illinois state test for RN licensure. (UIC: RUSH; MIllikin; an West Suburban--although I could not find the specific info on West Suburban's web site--so I'm not sure if their Masters entry level program still exists).
Of course, there are also some private schools
out there that have both LPN programs and/or RN programs available.
As for jobs for LPN, although it may be difficult to find a LPN job at a Hospital, there are a few still out there. If you are looking for experience related to acuity of care, your best bet might be in a Skilled Care unit. Some Skilled Care units have IV's, NG tubes, dialysis patients, post op heart surg patients etc...
Good Luck. Hope the info has helped a bit.