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Pennsylvania

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CNA Classes in Pennsylvania

Stretching from Lake Erie in the northwest portion of the state to the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast, Pennsylvania offers diverse history and culture. It is far enough north to experience all four seasons in vivid color, including very snowy winters throughout its breadth. Pennsylvania is also home to a great deal of United States history, including the famed Liberty Bell. CNAs in this state have enormous potential for success. Of the over 12 million people who live in Pennsylvania, nearly 17 percent of them are over the age of 65, and many need care at one of the 190 hospitals or 88,000 nursing home here.

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About PA

– Capital: Harrisburg
– Minimum Wage: $7.25
– Number of Hospitals: 190
– Number of Nursing Homes: 88,284

Population

– Total Population: 12,787,209
– Population (ages 45-64): 3,572,447
– Population (ages 65+): 2,134,521
– Population (ages 85+): 331,229

Highly Regarded Colleges

– Swarthmore College
– University of Pennsylvania
– Haverford College

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in PA

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

The Pennsylvania Department of Education regulates CNA training. Occasionally, the Department may waive training, such as in the case of a student nurse or graduate nurse who has not yet taken nursing boards. In most other cases, those who wish to become CNAs will need to attend a state-approved training program.

Those wanting to begin CNA training will need to meet several prerequisites. Students must be at least 16 years old and should be able to do basic math and understand English. However, they do not need a high school diploma. They will need either to be a U.S. citizens or to be approved to work in the U.S. They will need a photo ID and two additional photographs, two fingerprint cards on file, state and federal background checks, an up-to-date immunization record and a negative tuberculosis test within the past six months. Potential students will also need a physical performed by a physician and should not have any communicable diseases.

Pennsylvania requires 75 hours of classroom CNA training for students to learn CNA theory as well as 100 hours of direct hands-on care of patients, which typically occurs in local nursing homes or other healthcare facilities. CNA training in the state generally takes about 13 weeks to complete with this number of hours. Pennsylvania does require certain classes for its CNAs including infection control, basic nursing care, vital signs, nutrition and medical terminology among others. A proper understanding of these lessons will help students pass their CNA examinations with ease.

The CNA examination in Pennsylvania is administered by the American Red Cross in conjunction with Pearson VUE through the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program. The test is taken in two parts, which are both completed on the same day initially. The knowledge test is a written examination that may also be completed orally by those who request this option on their applications. The written knowledge test includes 50 multiple-choice questions while the oral knowledge test includes 50 multiple-choice questions testing CNA theory and an additional ten testing basic comprehension.

The skills section tests clinical skills and is performed in front of a registered nurse evaluator. The individual will be tested on hand washing technique and will be required to take a measurement, such as a blood pressure or radial pulse. He or she will also need to perform three other skills that will be randomly chosen that day. The cost for both parts of the test is $102 or $112 for the oral version. Applicants will learn if they have passed on the day of the examination.

Should an applicant fail, he or she will only be required to retest the section that was failed. Individuals can take each part of the examination up to three times before being required to retest. Fees for individual portions of the test are $70 for the skills test and $32 for the knowledge exam. Individuals must complete and pass the examination within 24 months of completing CNA training to avoid having to retrain.

CNAs moving to Pennsylvania from out-of-state can apply for reciprocity to Pennsylvania. They will need to complete an application to Pearson VUE and will initially send the application to their former state. They will need to be in good standing with the previous state and have no allegations of patient abuse, neglect or maltreatment against them. Anyone who has not lived in Pennsylvania for two years will need to submit to an FBI report and a criminal background check. However, individuals can work as CNAs in Pennsylvania for 90 days while they wait for the background check results. Reciprocity applications are available through the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry. The process if free.

Pennsylvania CNAs must renew their licenses every two years. To renew, CNAs must have worked at least eight hours in the prior two years and must have completed 12 hours of in-service continuing education. Private duty work does not count towards the eight hours. The Nurse Aide Registry will send out renewal reminders about three months before expiration. It is every CNAs responsibility to renew because those who do not renew in time will be required to retake both sections of the examination. Those who must retake the test but who do not pass on the first try will be needed to retrain. The process of renewing is free unless CNAs are required to retest.

Links

Pennsylvania Department of Health
State Board of Nursing
Nurses Aide Registry for Pennsylvania
PA Nurses Licenses Verificiation

Contacts
State Board of Nursing
One Penn Center, 2601 N. 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-783-7142
Fax: 717-783-0822
Email: ST-NURSE@pa.gov

Pennsylvania Approved CNA Schools

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Employment Information for PA

Average Salary for CNAs in PA

While CNAs in Pennsylvania are paid based on where they work, whether or not they work full-time and how much experience they have, the average hourly wage for CNAs here is $13.52. This works out to approximately $28,110 per year, which is slightly more than the average yearly salary of $27,820 for all workers in healthcare support occupations. 

Job Outlook in PA

As the Pennsylvania population continues to age, CNAs will continue to be in high demand across the state. The 3.5 million residents who are currently in middle age will need increased health care within the next 10 to 20 years, ensuring job security. According to BLS.gov, there are currently over 75,690 CNA jobs in the state at a wide variety of facilities. The potential for job growth and overall job satisfaction here is tremendous as CNAs continue to impact patients’ lives.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in PA
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside200 Lothrop StreetPittsburghPennsylvania15213412-647-8788Website
Hospital Of Univ Of PennsylvaniaSpruce St & S 34Th StPhiladelphiaPennsylvania19104215-662-3227Website
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital111 South 11Th StreetPhiladelphiaPennsylvania19107215-955-6000Website
Milton S Hershey Medical Center500 University DriveHersheyPennsylvania17033717-531-8521Website
Lehigh Valley Hospital1200 South Cedar Crest BoulvardAllentownPennsylvania18105610-402-2273Website
Hahnemann University Hospital230 North Broad StreetPhiladelphiaPennsylvania19102215-762-7000Website
Children's Hospital Of Pittsburgh Of Upmc4401 Penn AvenuePittsburghPennsylvania15224412-692-5325Website
Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia34Th St & Civic Center BlvdPhiladelphiaPennsylvania19104215-590-3745Website
Lancaster General Hospital555 North Duke StreetLancasterPennsylvania17604717-299-5511Website
Main Line Hospital Lankenau100 Lancaster AveWynnewoodPennsylvania19096610-645-2000Website
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center51 North 39Th StreetPhiladelphiaPennsylvania19104215-662-8000Website
Allegheny General Hospital320 East North AvenuePittsburghPennsylvania15212412-359-3131Website
Pennsylvania Hosp Of The Univ Of Pa Health Sys800 Spruce StreetPhiladelphiaPennsylvania19107215-829-3000Website
Western Pennsylvania Hospital4800 Friendship AvenuePittsburghPennsylvania15224412-578-5000Website
St Mary Medical Center1201 Langhorne-Newtown RdLanghornePennsylvania19047215-750-2003Website
St Clair Memorial Hospital1000 Bower Hill RoadPittsburghPennsylvania15243412-942-6209Website
Upmc Hamot201 State StreetEriePennsylvania16550814-877-6000Website
Magee Womens Hospital Of Upmc Health System300 Halket StreetPittsburghPennsylvania15213412-641-4010Website
Temple University Hospital3401 North Broad StreetPhiladelphiaPennsylvania19140215-707-2000Website

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