Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant or Certified Nurse’s Aide in the state of Pennsylvania is similar to that of other states. If you have certification that is in good standing from another state, Pennsylvania will allow you to apply for certification under their reciprocity plan, without the need to repeat CNA training in Philadelphia, for example. The state of Pennsylvania, like most states in the US, have a high projected growth in the amount of CNA jobs that will be needed, particularly over the next 10 years. The average salary for a CNA in PA is approaching $30,000 a year, more or less depending on the specific location and job. The state requires applicants to have a clean criminal record, be able to pass a health physical, complete a training program, pass the examination, and be at least 16 years of age. Some programs in the state, however, do not admit anyone under the age of 18. To work as a CNA, you must appear on the PA Health Department’s Nurse’s Aide Registry. In order to do so, candidate must complete CNA classes in PA in the form of classroom training, a set number of hours in a practical (medical) setting, and pass the written and skills test.

Once you have obtained your CNA certification in Pennsylvania you must work a minimum of 8 hours within 24 months to keep your license valid. The Health Department will mail you notification of the need to renew your license approximately 90 days prior to expiration. Make sure to keep your address current with the Pennsylvania Nurse Registry so that your notification will be received in time to renew and update your Pennsylvania CNA certification. Proof that you have worked a minimum of 8 hours will need to be submitted in order for your CNA certification PA license to stay valid.

CNA Classes in PA

In Pennsylvania testing must be scheduled through the Red Cross. The American Red Cross has PA locations in Philadelphia, Landsdale, Montgomery County, & Bucks County. The Philadelphia CNA training program is the most popular. The Red Cross CNA training in Philadelphia, or whichever location is nearest you, will team you nursing skills such as conducting blood pressure, temperature, pule, and respiration readings to monitor a patient’s vitals. CNA must also learn patient care skills such as bathing and bathroom assistance and exercise training. Properly reading medical charts, distributing medication, and monitoring patient activity will be taught through your CNA classes in PA. A proper bedside manner will be developed, as well as the skills to handle the various emergencies you may encounter in your job as a CNA.

CNA Training in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s largest and most populous city. In addition to it’s historical influence, Philadelphia is a major medical hub on the East Coast. Top medical centers include the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian (Philadelphia, PA), Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia, PA), Christiana Care Hospital (Newark, DE), and the Lankenau Medical Center (Wynnewood, PA) – all of which are nationally ranked for their respective specialties. The Philadelphia metro area and surrounding Pennsylvania cities include dozens of regionally ranked hospitals.

In addition to the city’s vast hospital network, there are 270 nursing homes in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. An astounding 96 of Philadelphia nursing homes have obtained a perfect 5-star rating from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

CNAs can work in a variety of medical applications, however hospitals and nursing homes are among the most common employers. After your CNA classes in Philadelphia are complete, the strong hospital and nursing home centers in Philadelphia make it an ideal place to seek employment as a CNA in PA. CNA training in Philadelphia will prepare you to enter the local workforce, as you join the booming healthcare sector in the Philly area.

CNA Certification PA Examination

After you complete your CNA training in Philadelphia, or wherever you choose, the next step is to take the PA CNA certification exam. It is important to note that all your CNA classes in PA must be completed before you schedule your exam date. Just as in other states, there is a skills test and a written portion of the CNA certification exam. The skills test consists of performing 5 nursing assistant skills in front of an examiner. The skills that you could be asked to perform are listed in Nurse Aide handbook, available through Pearson Vue. Pearson Vue is the company that Pennsylvania (as well as some other states) has contracted to administer Nurse Aide testing. You will have 30 minutes for the skills portion of the test.

The written portion of the exam consists of fifty multiple choice questions. The test is written in English, however, an oral version is available for those who have difficulty with English. The written test has a time limit of 2 hours in the state of Pennsylvania. The test administrator will let you know when 15 minutes are left. Make sure you clearly mark your answers on the answer key only. You will not be given credit for answers that are completed in the test booklet.

What happens if I don’t pass the CNA Certification exam in Pennsylvania?
Candidates for CNA certification in Pennsylvania have 3 attempts to pass each portion of the exam. Both portions need to be passed within these attempts during a maximum span of 2 years to be eligible to appear on the Pennsylvania CNA registry. If the 2 years lapses, or the maximum of 3 attempts has been met, the candidate must go through the training process once again, retaking CNA classes in PA before attempting to retake the exams. A no-show is considered one of your attempts and is viewed as failing. Make sure to be present when your exam attempt is scheduled. If for some reason you were not able to attend, you would have to inform the Red Cross of America at least 3 business days in advance so as not to be counted as a no-show.

I’ve completed CNA classes in Philadelphia – How do I prepare for the PA CNA exam?
As stated before, check the Pearson Vue Nurse Aide handbook for a list of skills that may be assessed. The handbook also contains information on the written portion, and even some sample multiple-choice style questions. There are also practice tests available online. While you may have completed CNA training in Philadelphia, you must still study diligently in the weeks leading up to your CNA certification PA exam. For optimal results, it is recommended to review your course material and get plenty of rest prior to the day of the exam.

The day of the test you will be required to have with you: 2 forms of ID (one must have a picture), your social security number, pencils, and erasers. They are rather strict about not allowing you to bring any other items into the testing room with you.

What happens if I pass the CNA exam in the state of Pennsylvania?
The examiner of the skills portion will let you know if you passed or failed immediately. They will give you feedback regarding your performance on these skills. Once your written test is scored, and if you have passed both, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will place your name on the Pennsylvania CNA Registry. Your registry card will be mailed to you from Pearson Vue.

CNA Jobs in PA

After gaining CNA certification in PA, the next step is to begin applying for CNA jobs in Pennsylvania. Luckily, Pennsylvania has the 5th highest employment level in the country for CNAs. With over 75,000 CNA jobs in PA reported in 2014, the state has a strong employment per thousand jobs level of 13.39. The average hourly wage for CNA jobs in PA is $13.52, or an annual salary of over $28,000. The trend is expected to grow, with a strong health care job market in Philadelphia and it’s surrounding cities.

How to renew CNA certification in PA? How do I renew my CNA certification in PA?

  1. In Pennsylvania, a person holding a CNA certification must complete the renewal process 2 years from the time the certificate was achieved. The renewal process includes a form, proof of employment (a minimum of 8 hours worked) and a licensing fee.
  2. Keep your home address current with the PA nursing board and with the facility where you completed your CNA training. The state nursing board will notify you by mail 1-2 months prior to your certification expiring. The directions for renewing will be included in this mailing.
  3. Contact the PA nursing board if you have not received this mailing and your certification is due to expire.