(found 237 schools, updated in March 2017)
What is a CNA? The acronym CNA stands for Certified Nurse Aide or Certified Nursing Assistant. It is a person who works under the supervision of an RN or LPN while providing legally designated health care services to patients and long-term facility residents. The American Red Cross plays a central role in the process for becoming a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) in Pennsylvania. The agency is responsible for processing CNA applications, and scheduling and administering the NNAAP Examination for CNA certification in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (Division of Nursing Care Facilities) contracted management of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Nurse Aide Registry to Pearson VUE. Following are the five basic steps from choosing a path to certification to finding CNA employment.
Step 1: Paths to Becoming a CNA in Pennsylvania
To work as a Certified Nurse Aide, your name must appear in the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry. Most people accomplish this by passing the CNA test which is the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination. However, you can get your name listed as an active CNA through eligibility by examination or by reciprocity.
4 Ways to Becoming Eligible to Take the Examination
There are four ways people become eligible to take the NNAAP Examination to become a CNA in Pennsylvania.
Complete one of the Pennsylvania Department of Education nurse aide training programs within the previous 24 months before registering for the exam.
If you are a student nurse, get Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) approval to take the test. Be sure to submit the authorization to test with the test application. Submit the form Application [PDE-294] for Eligibility to Take the Nurse Aide Competency Examination” to the PDE. You must meet one of the following CNA requirements in order to submit the form:
- Have graduated a Pennsylvania state-approved nursing school within the last 24 months but have not received a nursing license.
- Are currently enrolled in CNA training in Pennsylvania in a state-approved or out-of-state nursing school AND have successfully completed a clinical rotation in a licensed long-term care facility or nursing home AND have completed courses in certain subjects (listed on PDE-294) with a grade posted on the official nursing school transcript.
E3 or E4
If your nurse aide registration in Pennsylvania or another state has lapsed because you were not employed to provide nursing-related services for at least eight hours in the previous 24 consecutive months, you are allowed one chance to take and pass the NNAAP Examination. If you do not pass both sections the first time, then you must complete a nurse aide training program in Pennsylvania. After completing CNA training, you can apply for the examination via the E-0 eligibility route.
Become Eligible Through Reciprocity
If you are listed as a nurse aide on an out-of-state registry and are in good standing and active, you can make a request to be added to the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry. The Reciprocity Application is obtained through Pearson VUE by sending a request to PO Box 13785, Philadelphia, PA 19101-3785.
Step 2: Complete a State-Approved Training Program
An approved program is called a Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP), meaning it offers the training and evaluation required by the federal government in order to work in a facility that accepts Medicare and Medicaid patients and also required by the state to provide CNA services in any healthcare facility.
- Best Local CNA Classes in Pennsylvania in 2017
- Requirements for Enrollment
- Where to Take a Training Program
- Program Length and Costs
- Cost Reimbursement
- Primary Instructor
- What to Learn
Best Local CNA Classes in Pennsylvania in 2017
As of 2017, you can take Certified Nurse Aide programs in nursing homes or at educational facilities. Please use the following tables to find the best local CNA classes in Pennsylvania. The program data is updated in March 2017.
132 Approved CNA Programs Offered by Educational Facilities
|County||City||CNA Program Provider||Phone||Program
|Allegheny||Allison Park||A. W. Beattie Career Center (Secondary)|
|Cambria||Ebensburg||Admiral Peary Area Vocational-Technical School (Adult)|
|Cambria||Ebensburg||Admiral Peary AVTS (Secondary)|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||American Red Cross - East Chapter|
|Beaver||Monaca||Beaver County Career & Technology Center (Adult)|
|Beaver||Monaca||Beaver County Career & Technology Center (Secondary)|
|Bedford||Everett||Bedford County Technical Center (Adult)|
|Bedford||Everett||Bedford County Technical Center (Secondary)|
|Berks||Leesport||Berks Career and Technology Center (Secondary)||(610) 374-4073||126|
|Northampton||Bethlehem||Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School (Adult)|
|McKean||Bradford||Bradford Area High School (Secondary)|
|Buck||Newtown||Bucks County Community College - Nursing & Allied Health|
|Buck||Fairless Hills||Bucks County Technical High School (Secondary)|
|Carbon||Jim Thorpe||Carbon Career & Technical Institute (Adult)|
|Carbon||Jim Thorpe||Carbon Career & Technical Institute (Secondary)|
|Allegheny||Pittsburgh||Community College of Allegheny County|
|Allegheny||Pittsburgh||Community College of Allegheny County - North |
|Beaver||Monaca||Community College of Beaver County|
|Erie||Erie||Central High School & City of Erie (Secondary)|
|Montgomery||Plymouth Meeting||Central Montco Technical High School (Adult)|
|Montgomery||Plymouth Meeting||Central Montco Technical High School (Secondary)|
|Centre||Pleasant Gap||Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology|
|Chester||West Chester||Chester County Opportunities Industralization Center|
|Clarion||Shippenville||Clarion County Career Center (Adult)|
|Clarion||Shippenville||Clarion County Career Center (Secondary)|
|Columbia||Bloomsburg||Columbia-Montour AVTS (Secondary)|
|Cambria||Johnstown||Commonwealth Technical Institute||(814) 254-0400||300|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Community College of Philadelphia Corporate Solutions|
|Fayette||Uniontown||Community Training Institute||(724) 430-3027||140|
|Fayette||Connellsville||Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center (Secondary)|
|Crawford||Meadville||Crawford County Career & Technical Center (Adult)|
|Crawford||Meadville||Crawford County Career & Technical Center (Secondary)|
|Lackawanna||Scranton||Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County (Adult)|
|Lackawanna||Scranton||Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County (Secondary)|
|Cumberland||Mechanicsburg||Cumberland - Perry AVTS (Secondary)|
|Dauphin||Harrisburg||Dauphin County Technical School (Secondary)|
|Delaware||Media||Delaware County Community College|
|Delaware||Folcroft||Delaware County Technical High School (Secondary)|
|Montgomery||Norristown||Dotlen Academy of Science|
|Westmoreland||Latrobe||Eastern Westmoreland Career & Technology Center (Secondary)|
|Westmoreland||Greensburg||Education & Tech Institute||(724) 836-2600||111|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Entry Level CNA |
|Northampton||Bethlehem||Falcon Institute of Health & Science|
|Fayette||Uniontown||Fayette County Career & Technical Institute (Adult)||(724) 437-2721||120|
|Fayette||Uniontown||Fayette County Career & Technical Institute (Secondary)||(724) 437-2721||120|
|Franklin||Chambersburg||Franklin County Career and Technology Center (Adult)||(717) 709-0778||125|
|Franklin||Chambersburg||Franklin County Career and Technology Center (Secondary)||(717) 263-9033||125|
|Fulton||McConnellsburg||Fulton County AVTS (Secondary)||(717) 485-5813||120|
|Cambria||Johnstown||Greater Johnstown High School (Secondary)|
|Blair||Altoona||Greater Altoona Career and Technical Center (Adult)|
|Blair||Altoona||Greater Altoona Career and Technical Center (Secondary)|
|Cambria||Johnstown||Greater Johnstown AVTS - Branch Site (Adult)|
|Cambria||Johnstown||Greater Johnstown AVTS (Secondary)|
|Dauphin||Harrisburg||Harrisburg Area Community College|
|Luzerne||Hazle Township||Hazleton Area Career Center (Secondary)|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Health and Tech Training Institute||(215) 568-2220||152|
|Erie||Erie||Healthcare Ventures Alliance|
|Huntingdon||Mill Creek||Huntingdon County Career and Technology Center (Adult)|
|Huntingdon||Mill Creek||Huntingdon County Career and Technology Center (Secondary)|
|Franklin||Scotland||Institute for Caregiver Education|
|Jefferson||Reynoldsville||Jefferson County-DuBois AVTS (Secondary)|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||JKG Development Center||(267) 449-9527||120|
|Luzerne||Wilkes-Barre||Jolie Health & Beauty Academy|
|McKean||Kane||Kane Area High School (Secondary)|
|Luzerne||Drums||Keystone Job Corps Center|
|Dauphin||Harrisburg||Keystone Technical Institute|
|Lancaster||Willow Street||Lancaster County Career and Technology Center (Secondary)|
|Lancaster||Willow Street||Lancaster County Career and Technology Center (Adult)|
|Lawrence||New Castle||Lawrence County Career and Technical Center (Secondary)|
|Lebanon||Lebanon||Lebanon County Career and Technology Center (Secondary)|
|Lehigh||Schnecksville||Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (Secondary)|
|Carbon||Jim Thorpe||Lehigh Carbon Community College - Carbon Site|
|Lehigh||Allentown||Lehigh Carbon Community College|
|Armstrong||Ford City||Lenape Technical School (Secondary)|
|Luzerne||Nanticoke||Luzerne County Community College|
|Berks||West Reading||Maurice & Lambert Training Center LLC||(610) 924-4721||119|
|Mercer||Mercer||Mercer County AVTS (Adult)|
|Mercer||Mercer||Mercer County AVTS (Secondary)|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Mercy Vocational High School (Secondary)|
|Buck||Jamison||Middle Bucks Institute of Technology (Secondary)|
|Washington||Charleroi||Mon Valley Career & Tech Education (Adult)||(724) 489-9581||120|
|Monroe||Bartonsville||Monroe Career & Tech Institute (Adult)|
|Monroe||Bartonsville||Monroe Career & Tech Institute (Secondary)|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||New World Business School||(215) 856-7316||123|
|Montgomery||Lansdale||North Montco Technical Career Center (Adult)|
|Montgomery||Lansdale||North Montco Technical Career Center (Secondary)|
|Northampton||Bethlehem||Northampton Community College|
|Bradford||Towanda||Northern Tier Career Center (Secondary)|
|Westmoreland||New Kensington||Northern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center (Secondary)|
|Luzerne||West Hazleton||NSB Trainers||(570) 582-4556||100|
|Delaware||Collingdale||Olalus Institute||(610) 237-7199||120|
|Allegheny||Oakdale||Parkway West AVTS (Secondary)||(412) 923-1772||120|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Penn Asian Vocational Institute||(215) 572-1234||120|
|Chester||Elverson||People Technical School, Inc.|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Philadelphia Academy for Nurse Aide Training|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Philadelphia Job Corps Life Science|
|Allegheny||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh Job Corps Center|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Prism Health Aide Training, Inc.|
|Berks||Reading||Reading Area Community College - “2” Gateway Center|
|Lackawanna||Olyphant||Revolutionary Education Center|
|Elk||Saint Mary's||Saint Mary's Area High School (Secondary)|
|Schuylkill||Frackville||Schuylkill Tech Center (Secondary)|
|McKean||Port Allegany||Seneca Highlands CTC (Secondary)||(814) 642-2573||140|
|Somerset||Somerset||Somerset County Technology Center (Secondary)|
|Allegheny||Pittsburgh||Southwinds, Inc.||(412) 446-1080||120|
|Centre||State College||State College Area High School (Secondary)|
|Allegheny||Jefferson Hills||Steel Center for Career & Technical Education (Adult)|
|Allegheny||Jefferson Hills||Steel Center for Career & Technical Education (Secondary)|
|Delaware||Upper Darby||Successful Aging, Inc.|
|Union||New Berlin||Sun Area Technical Institute (Adult)|
|Union||New Berlin||Sun Area Technical Institute (Secondary)|
|Mifflin||Lewistown||The Academy - Mifflin County of Science and Technology (Adult)|
|Indiana||Home||The Rapha School|
|Allegheny||Pittsburgh||The Star Center at WPAHS|
|Berks||Reading||United Community Service for Working Families|
|Buck||Perkasie||Upper Bucks County Technical School (Secondary)|
|Venango||Oil City||Venango Technology Center (Adult)|
|Venango||Oil City||Venango Technology Center (Secondary)|
|Luzerne||Kingston||West Side Career & Technology Center|
|Washington||Canonsburg||Western Area Career & Technology Center (Adult)|
|Washington||Canonsburg||Western Area Career & Technology Center (Secondary)|
|Westmoreland||Youngwood||Westmoreland County Community College|
|Luzerne||Wilkes-Barre||Wilkes-Barre Area Career & Technical Center (Adult)|
|Westmoreland||Jeannette||William Penn Care Center|
|(724) 327 3500||120|
|York||York||York County School of Technology (Adult)|
|York||York||York County School of Technology (Secondary)|
105 Approved CNA Programs Offered by Nursing Homes
|County||City||CNA Program Provider||Phone||Program
|Blair||Altoona||Altoona Center for Nursing Care|
|Berks||Leesport||Berks Heim Nursing and Rehabilitation||(610) 376-4841||120|
|Bradford||Troy||Bradford County Manor||(570) 297-4111||120|
|Allegheny||Bridgeville||Bridgeville Rehab & Care Center|
|Tioga||Wellsboro||Broad Acres Health & Rehab Center|
|Cambria||Ebensburg||Cambria Care Center|
|Lebanon||Lebanon||Cedar Haven-Lebanon County Home|
|Lehigh||Allentown||Cedarbrook Lehigh County Home|
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Chapel Manor Center|
|Fayette||Uniontown||Cherry Tree Nursing Center|
|Clearfield||DuBois||Christ the King Manor|
|Clarion||Sligo||Clarview Nursing & Rehab Center|
|Dauphin||Harrisburg||Colonial Park Care Center|
|Lancaster||Lancaster||Conestoga View Nursing & Rehabilitation|
|Montgomery||Lansdale||Dock Woods Community|
|Clearfield||DuBois||DuBois Nursing Home|
|Northampton||Easton||Easton Health & Rehab Center||(610) 258-2985||120|
|Elk||Saint Mary's||Elk Haven Nursing Home|
|Delaware||Lima||Fair Acres Geriatric Center|
|Allegheny||Upper Saint Clair||Friendship Village of South Hills|
|Buck||Langhorne||Genesis Healthcare Crestview Center|
|Lawrence||New Castle||Golden Hill Nursing Home, Inc.|
|Warren||Warren||Golden Living Center - Kinzua Valley||(814) 726-0820||95|
|Tioga||Wellsboro||Green Home, Inc.|
|Westmoreland||Greensburg||Greensburg Care Center|
|Mercer||Grove City||Grove Manor Nursing Center|
|Bradford||Towanda||Guthrie Towanda Memorial Hospital|
|Cameron||Emporium||Guy and Mary Felt Manor|
|Allegheny||Cheswick||Harmar Village Care Center|
|Westmoreland||Mount Pleasant||Harmon House Care Center|
|Mercer||Hermitage||Health Link Services|
|Luzerne||Exeter||Highland Manor Nursing Home|
|Allegheny||Pittsburgh||Highland Park Care Center|
|York||Hanover||Homewood at Plum Creek|
|Jefferson||Brookville||Jefferson Manor Health Center|
|Armstrong||Kittanning||Kittanning Care Center|
|Cambria||Johnstown||LaurelWood Care Center|
|Luzerne||Wilkes-Barre||Little Flower Manor of the Diocese of Scranton|
|McKean||Kane||Lutheran Home at Kane|
|Luzerne||Dallas||Meadows Nursing & Rehab Center|
|Fayette||Uniontown||Mount Macrina Manor|
|Lackawanna||Scranton||Mountain View Care Center||(570) 341-0050||127|
|Northampton||Nazareth||Northampton County Home - Gracedale||(610) 746-1900||125.25|
|Montgomery||Royersford||Parkhouse, Providence Pointe|
|Butler||Zelienople||Passavant Retirement Center||(724) 452-5400||124|
|Somerset||Somerset||Patriot, a Choice Community|
|Montgomery||Harleysville||Peter Becker Community|
|Elk||Saint Mary's||Pinecrest Manor|
|Chester||West Chester||Pocopson Home|
|Allegheny||Oakmont||Presbyterian Senior Care Nurse |
|Beaver||Beaver Falls||Providence Health Care|
|Butler||Butler||Quality Life Services|
|Allegheny||McKeesport||Riverside Nursing Center|
|Buck||Sellersville||Rockhill Mennonite Community|
|Crawford||Conneautville||Rolling Fields, Inc.|
|Schuylkill||Schuylkill Haven||Rosewood Rehab & Nursing Center|
|Warren||Youngsville||Rouse-Warren County Home|
|McKean||Smethport||Sena Kean Manor|
|Butler||Cranberry Township||Sherwood Oaks|
|Forest||Marienville||Snyder Memorial Healthcare Center|
|Montgomery||Souderton||Souderton Mennonite Homes|
|Fayette||Markleysburg||South Fayette Nursing Center|
|Franklin||South Mountain||South Mountain Restore Center - DPW||(717) 749-4065||135|
|Allegheny||Pittsburgh||Southwestern Nursing Center|
|Westmoreland||Greensburg||St. Anne Home|
|Allegheny||Gibsonia||St. Barnabas, Inc.|
|Butler||Mars||St. John Lutheran Care Center|
|Luzerne||Elmhurst Township||St. Mary’s Villa Nursing Home, Inc.|
|Mercer||Greenville||St. Paul Homes||(724) 588-7610||120|
|Venango||Franklin||Sugar Creek Station|
|Lycoming||Muncy||Susquehanna Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center|
|Clinton||Lock Haven||Susque-View Home|
|Potter||Coudersport||Sweden Valley Manor|
|Venango||Franklin||The Caring Place|
|Mercer||Greenville||The Grove at Greenville||(724) 588-8090||120|
|Butler||Harmony||The Grove at Harmony||(724) 452-6970||101.5|
|Lawrence||New Wilmington||The Grove at New Wilmington||(724) 946-3511||120|
|Butler||Harrisville||Transitional Healthcare Autumn Grove|
|Armstrong||Pittsburgh||UPMC Senior Communities|
|Buck||Coopersburg||Valley Manor Nursing & Rehab Center|
|Beaver||Baden||Villa St. Joseph of Baden|
|Armstrong||Wexford||Wexford Healthcare Center|
|Centre||Philipsburg||Windy Hill Village of Presby Home|
|Mifflin||Lewistown||William Penn Healthcare and Rehab Center||(717) 248-3941||120|
|Armstrong||Monroeville||Woodhaven Care Center|
Requirements for Enrollment
To enroll in any of the state-approved CNA programs in Pennsylvania, there are certain minimum eligibility requirements you must meet:
- During the 12 months prior to starting a nurse aide training program, obtain a Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) report from the Pennsylvania State Police. The report can be obtained here.
- The CHRI must not show any prohibitive offenses which are listed in the Resident Abuse Prevention Training Act 14. You can work for 30 days while waiting for the Pennsylvania background clearance, but you cannot begin a NATCEP training program in Pennsylvania until the background check is finalized.
- If you have not been a Pennsylvania resident for at least two years, it is also necessary to obtain an FBI report, in addition to the CHRI. You can request the report by emailing email@example.com. You can work for 90 days while waiting for the FBI background check to be completed but cannot begin a CNA training class.
- A physical examination is required before starting the NATCEP. It must show you are free from communicable disease and had a negative 2-step Mantoux (tuberculin skin test). If the Mantoux is positive, you will have to produce a negative chest x-ray that is no more than five years old.
There is a fee for both the CHRI and the FBI report. It is important to understand a CNA student must be physically capable of meeting the occupational responsibilities. They include having full use of both hands, the ability to lift at least 40 pounds and the ability to bend, pull and push. Also, you need at least basic reading, math and writing skills in English.
Where to Take a Training Program in 2017
There are many Pennsylvania Department of Education approved nurse aide training programs. Almost each county has one ore more CNA programs, so it is up to you to decide where you want to get your nursing assistant education. A list of state-approved CNA programs in Pennsylvania as of 2017 is found on this website and on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.
CNA training in Pennsylvania is offered in a variety of venues. They include career centers, community colleges, nursing and long-term care centers, technical schools, Penn State and hospitals.
Program Length and Costs
The CNA training in the state will be at least 80 or more hours including 37.5 hours supervised clinical training. However, programs vary by facility in terms of requirements and length. For example, the American Red Cross (ARC) course is 110.8 hours, while the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) Nurse Aide Training Program requires 98 hours of lecture and 70 hours of clinical training for a total of 168 hours. The ARC program is four weeks long, whereas the CCAC program is 10 weeks long.
A 110.8 hour course through the American Red Cross is $1,300.00. You will need to purchase the uniform and textbook. However, there are grants available for people who make less than $8 per hour or who are working 20 hours or less each week. At the Community College of Allegheny County, the student must pay $949 course fees plus purchase a uniform with shoes and a textbook. In all cases, the competency exam fee is in addition to the tuition for the CNA courses.
Pennsylvania will let a nurse aide work in a nursing home for up to 120 days while completing training and testing, or while waiting for reciprocity approval from another state. If you are employed or are offered employment at a long-term nursing facility at the time you start a NATCEP program, Federal Regulations require the employer to pay all the training and testing costs.
If you are not employed with a long-term care nursing facility when you begin a NATCEP, and pay the training and testing costs yourself, you can request reimbursement from an employer if employed within 12 months of completing the NATCEP. The school where you complete training will give you a reimbursement receipt that you can present to the employer.
Each state-approved training program is led by a Primary Instructor who is a Registered Nurse (RN). The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) can serve as an Assistant Instructor, but the person cannot teach more than 49 percent of the total program hours. The primary instructor must:
- Have two years of experience as a Registered Nurse and at least one year working as a Registered Nurse in a long-term care facility
- Have a current and unrestricted RN license
- Attend a Teaching-the-Educator Workshop
- Have an acceptable Criminal History Record Information Report
- Have a two-step Mantoux or x-ray on file
What to Learn
The Pennsylvania Department of Education – Bureau of Career and Technical Education has established the standard curriculum for the state-approved CNA training classes. The CNA curriculum covers the information and skills you must master to pass the competency exam and to competently perform the typical work duties of a CNA. Students get training in the classroom and lab, and supervised clinical training.
Classroom and Lab Training
Following are the main competencies taught during CNA training in the classroom and lab:
- Introduction to health care – role and function of the nurse aide
- Communication skills – effective communication skills with patients, residents, family members, coworkers and supervisors
- Infection Control – how diseases are transmitted, hand washing techniques and donning and removing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
- Safety and emergency – disaster preparedness, following safety measures to prevent accidents, emergency procedures and using safety devices
- Client’s rights – patient privacy and confidentiality, and preventing abuse
- Client’s independence – promoting independence and individualizing care, dressing client with affected right arm, assisting with transfers from bed to wheelchair while using transfer belt
- Basic nursing and personal care skills – nutrition and serving or feeding patients, positioning the client’s body
- Identify and report conditions of body systems – identifying and reporting abnormal signs and symptoms of conditions concerning respiration, urination, circulation, nervous system, skin, digestion, immune system, reproductive system, musculoskeletal system, senses, diseases, and any type of abuse
- Client’s environment – maintaining safe, clean environment
- Personal care skills – make occupied and unoccupied beds, patient bathing (includes giving modified bad bath), hair and nail care, denture care, mouth care, foot care, using commode or urinal, perineal care, catheter care, measuring and recording patient functions like pulse, respiration, temperature, blood pressure, urinary output, height and weight (ambulatory and non-ambulatory)
- Caring for the client when death is imminent – stages of dying, goals of hospice care and common signs of approaching death
- Restorative care – bowel and bladder training for client, using assistive devices, passive range of motion exercises, prosthetic and orthotic devices, assist with daily living activities and assists to ambulate using transfer belt
- Behavioral health and social service needs – human needs for life and emotional well-being, effective listening skills and dealing with client emotions
- Care of cognitively impaired clients – principles of validation therapy and other intervention strategies
Supervised Clinical Training
There is also a minimum of 37.5 hours of clinical training providing hands-on patient care in addition to the classroom and lab training. Clinical training adds to the body of knowledge and skills:
- Safety – using and locking equipment, keeping residents safe
- Privacy – ensuring patient privacy is maintained
- Individuality – encouraging self-help and promoting independence
- Communication – verbal, abuse free communication and giving clear directions
- Infection control – hand washing, cleaning equipment, handling linen/clothing
- Behavior – knows resident and cooperates with peers
- Organization – makes good use of time and is prepared
- Work quality – thoroughness, neatness and keeping resident’s unit clean
- Dependability – listens and follows directions, follows time schedules
- Energy – enthusiastic and completes assignments in reasonable time
There are 22 skills on the NNAAP Skills List that you will learn by completing the curriculum, and five are tested during the Skills Evaluation portion of the exam. The typical American Red Cross approved CNA classes in Pennsylvania consist of classroom hours, lab hours and clinical hours for a total of 110.8 program hours. Upon successfully completing the program, you will get a Certificate of Completion that indicates how many hours of training were complete and provides the Pennsylvania Department of Education Training Code.
Step 3: Take and Pass the CNA Exam in Pennsylvania
The National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) is an examination designed to verify a person completing a CNA program has achieved minimal or entry-level competency in the required skills. This examination was developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, so it is used in most states as proof the process meets state and federal evaluation requirements.
Requirements to Take the Exam
There are two main requirements for taking the Nurse Aide competency exam:
- Must be at least 16 years old in all cases, but some employers may require you to be 18 years old, and
- Must pass a state approved nurse aide training program, or
The only time you do not have to complete the training program to take the CNA exam is when you are following the E-3, E-4 or reciprocity eligibility routes for examination as described in Step 1.
How to Register for the Exam
To get permission to take the CNA test in Pennsylvania to earn CNA certification, it is necessary to first register by submitting a registration form. All in-facility testing is scheduled through the American Red Cross. The form is available at www.pearsonvue.com, the American Red Cross (call 800-795-2350), the nurse aide training program or the nursing facility where you are employed. Mail the:
- Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Program NNAAP Examination Registration form
- Copy of the nurse aide completion training certificate or approval letter
- Examination fees
On the registration form you can indicate if you want to take an Oral Exam instead of a Written Exam. If you want to become an active member of the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry via reciprocity, contact Pearson VUE at 800-852-0618 or download the Application for Enrollment by Reciprocity at www.pearsonvue.com.
The 2017 CNA exam fees are as follows:
- Written Exam and Skills Evaluation – $102.00
- Oral Exam and Skills Evaluation – $102.00
- Written Exam ONLY – $ 32.00
- Oral Exam ONLY – $ 32.00
- Skills Evaluation ONLY – $ 70.00
The fees are subject to change. Fees can be paid in the form of a money order, certified check or company check only. If you are employed by an eligible facility, the facility will pay the fees by law either when you submit the registration form or later when you claim a reimbursement, as explained in Step 2 in the section “Cost Reimbursement.” All fees are paid to the American Red Cross and are non-refundable.
Once approved for nurse aide testing in Pennsylvania, the American Red Cross will mail a Confirmation Letter to you. If you are unable to take the exam on a confirmed date, you can request to re-schedule up to three business days before the date of the exam. If you meet the three-day requirement, the fees are transferred to the new date. Fees are forfeited if you fail to show up on a confirmed exam date. The only exception is in the case of unexpected personal situations like a death in the family or a disabling traffic accident. The American Red Cross will review each request and the documentation to determine if there is a valid excuse for missing an exam. If approved, there is no re-scheduling fee.
Call the American Red Cross at 800-795-2350 to re-schedule an exam.
You will enter a test site code on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Program NNAAP Examination Registration form to indicate where you prefer to take the exam. There are two types of CNA testing sites:
- Permanent Regional Test sites located throughout the state, and
- in-facility test sites
The 2017 list of permanent test sites and dates is found here. The list is subject to change. Pearson VUE manages the Regional Test Sites and can provide test accommodations based on a case-by-case review.
To test at a facility, there must be at least four people applying to take the test on your preferred test date. First you will fax the American Red Cross Pennsylvania In-Facility Exam Request form to the American Red Cross. Once the site is approved, the form is faxed back to confirm the site. Then you follow the process described in the preceding section titled “Register for the Exam.”
What to Bring to the Exam
To gain entrance into the exam, you need to make sure you bring certain items with you:
- Two forms of official, signature-bearing ID – Social Security card, driver’s license, credit card, clinic card, state-issued identification, clinic card, library card, passport, alien registration card
- Three sharpened No. 2 pencils
- Watch with a second hand
2 Parts of CNA Examination
There are two parts to the NNAAP examination which are the Written (or Oral) Examination and the Skills Evaluation. You must pass both parts to become eligible to have your name placed on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry.
Written (or Oral) Examination
The Written Exam has 70 multiple-choice questions that are presented in English. All 70 questions test knowledge of CNA skills. If you have difficulty reading English, the test can be administered as an Oral Examination. There is a self-assessment reading test available at www.asisvcs.com.
The Oral Examination is structured slightly differently in that 60 multiple-choice questions test knowledge of CNA skills, and 10 questions test reading comprehension and recognition of common words used in the CNA profession. You get two hours to finish the Written (or Oral) Examination.
The Nurse Aide Practice Written Examination with answer key is available here. Take the CNA practice test while timing yourself, check your answers against the answer key, and review any answers that are incorrect. There are other practice examinations easily found online if you want test yourself with additional questions, like the one here.
The Skills Evaluation portion of the NNAAP Examination requires you to perform five nurse aide skills in front of a Nurse Evaluator. One of the skills tested will include measurement. The skills are randomly selected from over 22 skills on the NNAAP Skills List, and these are skills you learn by completing the curriculum during the training program as described in Step 2. The test is performed in a setting that models a real-life situation, and a fellow candidate will act as the patient or resident. You must pass all five skills tests and have 30 minutes to do so.
What If Passing or Failing the Exam
The Nurse Aide Evaluator will fax the two scores for the Written (or Oral) Examination and the Skills Evaluation to Pearson VUE. An official Score Report is sent back to the test center.
You get three tries to pass both parts of the competency examination. You only re-take the section you fail. To retake one or both sections, you need to send a new exam application, a copy of the failing Score Report and fees to the American Red Cross.
If you do not pass both sections within three tries, then you will have to complete the training program again. Once training is completed, you get another three attempts to pass the exam and must re-take both exam parts. Remember, the only exception is the E-3 and E-4 candidates who can only take the examination once (Check Step1).
Step 4: Getting and Staying on the CNA Registry
After you are listed on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry, a Registry Card or Notice of Enrollment is mailed to you. When renewal time gets close, you will get a notification of continued registry enrollment in the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry for another 24 months from Pearson VUE. You must meet all renewal requirements before registration is continued. The recertification notice is sent approximately 90 days before the current registry listing expires.
How to Renew CNA Certification
To renew, you have to work at least 8 hours as a nurse aide for pay in an approved facility during the 24-month period covered by the registry in order to be eligible to renew CNA certification in Pennsylvania. An approved facility includes personal care homes, nursing agencies, hospitals, nursing homes and intermediate care facilities. Working in a doctor’s office or as a self-employed nurse aide is not accepted work for registry renewal.
Online Renewal Process
Pearson VUE offers an online registration renewal process to certified Pennsylvania nurse aides. The Pearson VUE Uniform Licensing Solution for E-Government (PULSE) allows you to renew your nurse aide registration after receiving the continued enrollment notice.
Is Continuing Education Required for CNA Renewal
There are no Continuing Education Unit requirements for CNA renewal in Pennsylvania. However, nursing homes are required to offer nurse aides at least 12 hours of in-service education on an annual basis.
The type of education is based on what the performance evaluation indicates is needed in the way of training. In addition to the education offered to correct weaknesses, the nursing home will also offer in-service training on a variety of critical topics like Infection Prevention and Control, Resident Confidential Information, Abuse Prevention and much more.
Once you are renewed in the registry, you will receive a new Registry Card. The card plus the certificate you received upon completing training program are solid proof of active registry status.
How to Update a Lapsed Registry
The information provided on routes to eligibility for CNA examination in Step 1 explains the process for updating a lapsed registry. To continue enrollment in the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry, submit a completed Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry Continued Enrollment Application to Pearson VUE – PA Nurse Aide Registry. On the CNA renewal form you will provide:
- Personal information, including any changes from last time you registered
- Employment history
Change Name and Address
You can use PULSE system to make name and address changes at any time. A name change requires written documentation.
CNA Certification Verification
Employers can use the PULSE Portal for CNA verification, or to add or terminate an employee.
Step 5: CNA Employment in Pennsylvania
The federal occupational code for Nursing Assistants is 31-1014 should you choose to do additional career research. As the population ages and the healthcare industry works to keep hospital stays as short as possible, the employment prospects for CNAs will grow. It is an excellent healthcare entry career.
Job Duties of the CNA
The skills described in Step 2 concerning training are the same skills the CNA will use each day while in the workplace. During a typical working day, the Certified Nurse Aide will:
- Answer a call signal or intercom call to find out what the patient or resident needs
- Assist the client with dressing and bathing
- Assist the client with moving from the bed to another location which may require the use of assistive devices or transfer belts
- Position and reposition patients in bed for their own safety and comfort
- Help patients or residents with appropriate exercises
- Take and record measurements
- Clean equipment and living space as needed
- Help clients eat as necessary
- Report new symptoms, signs of disease, and client needs or issues
- Perform some clerical duties
During the performance of each CNA skill, you will rely on your knowledge and experience to help patients or residents achieve the highest quality of life possible given their circumstances. It is an important role because the Certified Nurse Aide is the person who spends the most time with each client on a regular basis.
Where do CNAs Work in Pennsylvania
CNA jobs are available in a variety of settings in Pennsylvania. The Certified Nursing Assistant jobs in PA are found in:
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Retirement communities
- Staffing agencies
- Health services agencies
- Health and rehabilitation centers
- Outpatient clinics
- Private homes
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pennsylvania was one of the highest employment states for CNAs. It was the fifth highest state as of May 2016 in terms of number CNAs employed.
Job Outlook and CNA Salary
The annual mean (average) CNA salary in Pennsylvania was $29,190 or $14.03 per hour as of May 2016. For comparison purposes, Alaska has the highest annual average wage at $37,520; New York is at $34,300; and Connecticut is at $32,140. Lower paying states include Louisiana at $21,610; Mississippi at $21,640; and Alabama at $22,690.
The average CNA salary in Pennsylvania is almost 6 percent higher than the national average for the CNA occupation. The average salary of CNAs in the nation is $27,650 or $13.29 per hour. The bottom 10 percent of Pennsylvania CNAs earn $21,620 annually, while the top 10 percent earn $38,250. The more CNA qualifications you can claim in terms of initial and ongoing training and experience, the higher the salary. | See Job Openings
Top Paying Pennsylvania Areas
The top five Pennsylvania areas in terms of annual average wages of Certified Nursing Assistants are:
- Chambersburg-Waynesboro: $32,460
- Altoona: $30,510
- Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ: $30,350
- Philadelphia Metropolitan Division: $30,290
- Gettysburg: $30,250
There were 76,300 employed CNAs as of May 2016 in the state. The job outlook for Pennsylvania CNAs is very good. Per O*Net OnLine, a statistical reporting agency, the 2012 to 2022 projected annual growth rate in the number of Certified Nursing Assistant jobs in the state is 10 percent. | See Job Openings
CNA Salaries in Pennsylvania
|PA CNA Salaries||Empl.||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage||Wage percent relative std. error||Hourly 10th % wage||Hourly median wage||Hourly 90th % wage||Annual 10th % wage||Annual median wage||Annual 90th % wage|
|East Stroudsburg, PA||390||13.53||28140||4.2||10.17||13.51||17.61||21140||28100||36630|
|Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA Metropolitan Division||13150||14.38||29920||1.2||11.03||14.11||18.44||22930||29340||38350|
|Northern Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area||2170||12.65||26310||2.4||9.78||12.45||15.58||20340||25900||32410|
|Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division||13350||14.56||30290||1.5||10.39||14.04||19.85||21620||29210||41290|
|Southern Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area||3100||13.23||27520||1.5||10.24||13.26||16.64||21310||27580||34610|
|State College, PA||400||13.67||28430||2.9||10.24||13.48||17.85||21290||28030||37120|
|Western Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area||2050||13.05||27130||3.5||9.46||12.87||17.78||19680||26780||36980|
People who choose a CNA career in Pennsylvania often plan on continuing their healthcare training in the future. By first being employed as a CNA in the state, you can get firsthand knowledge as to whether a career in delivering nursing services is right for you. If you decide you enjoy working with patients and facility residents, you can choose to continue your education and follow a career path of CNA to RN or CNA to LPN. Any of these nursing careers offer fulfilling work. | See Job Openings
One of the attractions of becoming a CNA in Pennsylvania is that it only requires a short training period. If you are interested in a healthcare career but need to earn a salary as quickly as possible, becoming a nurse aide in Pennsylvania could be the right path. You get the satisfaction of helping people with medical needs enjoy a higher quality of life while also utilizing a variety of medical equipment/devices and technology. As you gain experience with technology like the medical procedure coding software and MEDITECH software, you will find that you are in even greater demand by employers. Your career success and salary over time depends on your willingness to grow in knowledge while on the job. | See Job Openings