A CNA or Certified Nursing Assistant is a healthcare worker who provides designated healthcare services to patients and residents under the supervision of an RN or LPN. The American Red Cross is a key organization in the certification process for CNAs in Pennsylvania, handling CNA applications and administering the NNAAP Examination for CNA certification. Pearson VUE manages the Nurse Aide Registry for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Pennsylvania’s hospitals and medical facilities need more nurses and nursing assistants due to the state’s large population of nearly 13 million. Some facilities need to be trained in assistance and are seeking to hire more certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Individuals who have completed CNA training are well-suited to fill this demand.

CNA Requirements in Pennsylvania

To become a CNA in Pennsylvania, the first step is completing a state-approved CNA training program and passing the certification exam. These programs typically take only a few weeks to complete, making them a quick entry point for those looking to start a career in nursing. The state recommends programs with at least 130 hours of instruction, including classroom and clinical practice components. These programs are offered at various institutions throughout the state, including vocational schools, nursing homes, community colleges, and some high schools.

The cost of these programs can vary, with some healthcare facilities and nursing homes offering free training or tuition reimbursement. It is important to choose a board-approved program to ensure that your education meets all the guidelines for certification and employment, and a full list of state-approved programs can be found on the Department of Education website. While most training programs are in-person, some may offer online portions for added flexibility. Choosing a program that meets the criteria for CNA training in your home state is crucial.

CNA Training Program in Pennsylvania

A typical CNA program in Pennsylvania involves 50 hours of teaching covering technical and medical knowledge. The program includes classes on various topics, such as recording vital signs, anatomy, social services, mental health, fluids and diet, emergency procedures, patient hygiene, infection control, caring for the elderly, therapeutic services, and dispensing medication. Additionally, students receive six hours of training on managing patients with mental health disorders like cerebral palsy, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

After the classroom instruction, students must complete at least 40 hours of clinical practice at nursing homes, living care facilities, or hospitals under the supervision of a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN). During their training, students may also join the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP).

The cost of the CNA training program can range from $500 to $1,500, depending on the program. However, these fees do not cover classroom materials, uniforms, or textbooks. Some facilities offer free CNA classes, while others accept financial aid and payment plans.

CNA Exam in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania works with the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) to certify its nurses, which is one of 25 states that do so. Pearson VUE distributes the CNA state exam and provides useful information, such as a free practice test, applications, test site locations and schedules to help you prepare for the exam. To schedule your test, you must call one of the regional testing centers, which can be found on their website.

The CNA test in Pennsylvania consists of two parts: a written (or oral) exam and a clinical skills evaluation, both taken on the same day. The written exam consists of 70 multiple-choice questions in English. If English is your second language, you may take the written exam orally, and CNA classes are also offered in Spanish. The oral exam has 60 multiple-choice questions and 10 multiple-choice comprehensive reading questions. A nurse aide evaluator supervises you for the skills evaluation as you perform five randomly selected skills in 25 minutes or less. Pennsylvania requires you to apply for and pass both exams within two years of completing your CNA training.

CNA Certification Process in Pennsylvania

Pearson Vue is responsible for managing the certification process to obtain CNA certification in Pennsylvania. You must meet several requirements, including being at least 16 years old, passing a criminal background check, completing an approved training program, and passing the Pearson Vue CNA competency evaluation. You can find CNA programs in your area by searching for them.

Getting certified as a nurse aide in Pennsylvania is a straightforward process. All you need to do is pass both portions of the CNA evaluation, and Pearson Vue will send you a certification card and add your name to the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry. The initial certification is valid for 24 months.

If you need to confirm your CNA certification in Pennsylvania, you can use the Nurse Aide Registry Online. This tool allows facilities to check the registry and verify the certification status of any nurse aide listed on it via the Internet.

CNA Certification Renewal in Pennsylvania

To keep their certification, nurse aides in Pennsylvania need to renew it every two years. To be eligible for renewal, they must have worked at least eight hours in the past 24 months. The renewal application can be accessed online through the Pearson Vue Uniform Licensing Solution for E-Government (PULSE) website at pulseportal.com.

Transferring CNA Certification to Another State

If you’re working as a CNA in another state and want to transfer your certification from Pennsylvania, you’ll need to meet the transfer requirements of the new state. You can locate the CNA regulatory agency of your new state by using the search tool provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The transfer requirements can differ from state to state but typically involve verifying your CNA certification, paying transfer fees, and completing continuing education requirements. 

Finding The Right CNA Program in Pennsylvania

You must select an approved CNA program and complete the required classes to obtain your CNA certification in Pennsylvania. Choosing an accredited school is essential to ensure your certification is valid. Pennsylvania law also mandates that you pass courses in subjects such as patient care, infection control, vital signs, emergency safety techniques, nutrition, anatomy, medical terminology, and interpersonal skills to obtain your CNA certification. Hence, passing these specific classes is crucial for obtaining CNA certification in Pennsylvania.

Top Schools Offering CNA Classes in Pennsylvania

Prospective students and current CNAs should search for programs that suit their goals and schedule. Some classes may have tuition fees, while others are free. It’s recommended to contact the institutions directly to get more information about cost and teaching methods. Based on our research at CNA Classes Near Me (https://cnaclassesnearme.com/), the following schools offer CNA programs in in Pennsylvania:


American Red Cross

The Red Cross in Philadelphia offers CNA classes that prepare students to pass the certification exam. The program is approved by the state and runs for four weeks. To enroll in the program, candidates must attend an orientation, take a reading test, undergo a physical examination, and a two-step Mantoux test. The cost of the program is $1300, which includes the necessary books and course materials. However, financial aid options may be available for students who need assistance.

Website: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cna

Holy Redeemer Health

The Southeastern Chapter of the Red Cross has partnered with this organization to offer CNA classes at St. Joseph’s Manor at Holy Redeemer. The program lasts four weeks and includes hands-on clinical demonstrations, where students can provide care to residents at the Manor. There is a possibility for sponsorship opportunities for the program.

Website: https://careers.holyredeemer.com/c/training-programs-jobs

Prism Health Aide Training

This program provides affordable tuition and financial aid and offers flexible payment plans to candidates who require assistance with the cost of tuition. Applicants must pass the school’s entrance exam to be eligible for the CNA program. The course prepares candidates for their CNA duties and the certification exam. Successful completion of the program’s requirements guarantees employment to all candidates. The program runs for five weeks.

Website: http://cna-education.com/


Community College of Allegheny County

CCAC’s nurse aide certification program requires applicants to have a high school diploma or GED and meet other eligibility criteria. The program is strict in terms of attendance and requires students to attend all classes in the first two weeks and wear uniforms from the program’s start. The program is specifically designed to prepare students for the job market.

Website: https://www.ccac.edu/academics/programs/nursing-and-allied-health/index.php

HCR Manorcare

HCR Manorcare is a facility specializing in job placement and certification, focusing on developing individuals’ skills and helping them find employment.

Website: https://careers.promedicaseniorcare.org/


Harrisburg Area Community College

The HACC CNA program involves 120 hours of both classroom and practical learning. Students are required to attend the first 24 hours of class, and absences may result in disqualification from the program. The students themselves must purchase uniforms, shoes, and socks. Textbooks are included in the tuition fee, which is approximately $1098. Although not mandatory, having a high school diploma or GED is recommended. HACC also offers 88 and 78-hour CNA course options.

Website: https://www.hacc.edu/

TLC Institute

The CNA program provides short and intensive training that lasts less than two weeks, consisting of 100 hours of theoretical and practical instruction. Students receive training that prepares them for the state exam, and if they fail, they can receive additional support. The program’s fees are inexpensive and include textbooks and other required documents. For details on the tuition fee, students can contact the institute directly.

Website: https://www.tlcinstitute.com/training.html