The regulations for Certified Nurse Aides (CNA) fall under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH).
Per the department, for you to become a CNA, you’ll have to complete the following:
- State-approved nurse aide training program (NATP)
- Pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam
- Undergo a criminal background check
- Taking on a CNA Training Program in Pennsylvania
- Evaluating a CNA Candidate
- Submitting to a Criminal Background Check (CBC)
- Potential Salary
- CNA Schools by City
Taking on a CNA Training Program in Pennsylvania
When it comes to NATP, it will be the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) that regulates it.
Per the department, you must receive training from an approved NATP to ensure standardized education.
During the program, you will spend 80 hours of training, with 37.5 hours of supervised clinical practice.
The table below lists some of the CNA training facilities approved by PDE.
For the complete and updated list, visit PDE’s Career and Technical Education webpage.
10 CNA Schools in Pennsylvania
|Bridgeville Rehabilitation and Care Center||Bridgeville, PA 15017|
|Grove Manor Nursing Center||Grove City, PA 16127|
|Guy and Mary Felt Manor||Emporium, PA 15834|
|Healthcare Ventures Alliance||Erie, PA 16505|
|Jubilee Technical Institute||Reading, PA 19601|
|Providence Care Center||Beaver Falls, PA 15010|
|Quality Life Service||New Castle, PA 16101|
|The Rapha School||Home, PA 15747|
|TLC Institute||Harrisburg, PA 17112|
|Upper Bucks County Tech School||Perkasie, PA 18944|
Before you can enroll in NATP, you must first meet the following requirements:
- Must be at least 16 years old
- Obtain a Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) report
- Submit to a physical exam which includes:
- Evidence that you’re free of any communicable diseases
- Negative 2-step Mantoux
- If positive, submit a negative chest x-ray that’s less than five years old
- Knowledgeable in basic math and English reading and writing skills
Evaluating a CNA Candidate
PDH has contracted with Credentia to administer the NNAAP exam.
This exam exists to evaluate your understanding and competency in performing nurse aide tasks.
CNA Candidates Eligible to Take the NNAAP Exam
The following candidates can take the NNAAP exam if they meet the prescribed requirements.
- Newly-trained nurse aide who completed NATP in the last 24 months
- CNA with lapsed registration for not working in at least 24 consecutive months
- Out-of-state CNA with lapsed certification for not working in at least 24 consecutive months
- Temporary nurse aide (TNA) who completed a Nurse Aide Attestation Form
Candidates with lapsed registration or certification will have one chance to pass the NNAAP exam.
If they fail, they must enroll in a PDE-approved NATP to retake the exam.
On their application form, they must reapply for the exam as a newly-trained nurse aide.
Meanwhile, newly-trained nurse aides and TNAs have three attempts to pass the NNAAP exam.
The Pennsylvania NNAAP Exam
The exam has two parts: a written (or oral) test and a skills test.
You have to pass both parts to be listed on the state’s Nurse Aide Registry (NAR).
Written (Oral) Test
Here are the things you should know about the written (oral) test.
- Consists of 70 multiple-choice questions in English
- May be taken as an oral test if you have difficulty reading English
- Oral test consists of 60 multiple choice and 10 reading comprehension questions
- Both written and oral tests have two hours test duration
- Can be taken online via Credentia’s CNA365 or at a test center
Here are the things you should know about the skills test:
- Evaluation setup resembles an actual caregiving situation
- You will perform five nurse aide skills, with four random and one is handwashing
- Each skill represents a task that is broken into a series of steps
- You have 30 minutes to complete all five skills, with the critical steps performed accurately
- Taken at a test center only
You can receive your official exam results shortly after all test events are completed on your exam date.
You can access the results online via your CNA365 account.
If you pass both tests, you will be added to NAR.
Credentia will notify you via email once you’re placed on NAR, as well as your electronic Registry Card.
The card will also be mailed to your address at least three weeks after the NNAAP exam.
But if you fail, you must retake the test/s you failed, following the instructions on the score report.
Should you max out the allowable test attempts, you will need to retrain in NATP to retake the exam.
Credentia has listed the fees you will pay to take the NNAAP exam.
- Written (or oral) and skills tests – $135
- Written test only – $50
- Oral test only – $50
- Skills test only – $80
If you’re employed in a nursing home, they will cover the exam fees for you.
If you’re shouldering the fees at this time, you can be reimbursed for the costs if you get employed within 12 months of training completion.
Submitting to a Criminal Background Check (CBC)
As mentioned, you will undergo CBC within one year before enrolling in NATP.
To apply for the CBC, you will have to complete the following forms:
- Attestation of Compliance with PA Act 14
- Verification of Residency for Enrollment into NATP
Both forms are available on PDE’s website.
You will obtain the CHRI from the PA State Police if you have resided in the state for the last two years.
If you haven’t, the CHRI will come from both the PA State Police and the FBI.
The resulting reports shouldn’t include any prohibitive offenses contained in PA Act 14.
And so, depending on the reports, PDE may send you either an official letter of approval or disapproval to enroll in NATP.
If it’s a letter of approval, then PDE will also send the training facility a copy of the letter.
How much you earn as a CNA in Pennsylvania depends on several factors, like:
- Skill level
- Work experience
- Workplace location
As of this writing, the average annual salary you can expect to receive is around $31,000.
The table below shows the salary information across the state.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of CNAs in Pennsylvania