Known as the “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia, founded by Benjamin Franklin, has a long, rich history. Today, its history may best be summed up by the iconic Liberty Bell. Of course, not everything in Philadelphia focuses on the past. The city is filled with fun activities for people of all ages. You can enjoy a Philly cheesesteak from a street vendor, take a walk through bustling Reading Terminal Market or enjoy an evening at the Delaware River waterfront.
Philadelphia is also an exciting place to live and work. There are many job opportunities here, including thousands in the health care sector. Certified nursing assistants have many opportunities at the 27 area hospitals and numerous long-term care facilities that regularly hire CNAs. Plus, with nearly 13 percent of the population over the age of 65, CNAs have a myriad of work opportunities.
To work legally as a CNA in Philadelphia, you will need to hold active licensure and be listed on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry. There are two primary ways to be listed here, and they include passing the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program examination or becoming eligible through reciprocity.
Of course, most individuals choose to complete a state-approved training program. You must pass the Criminal History Record Information report through the Pennsylvania State Police and complete an FBI report if you have not lived in Pennsylvania for the past two years. In addition, you will need to be at least 16 years old, pass a physical examination, have a negative TB test, have no communicable diseases, be able to use both hands, be able to lift at least 40 pounds and have basic English writing, reading and arithmetic skills.
CNA programs in Philadelphia include at least 80 hours of training of which 37.5 hours must be hands-on clinical time. Most programs are far longer than that with the Pennsylvania Department of Education recommending 120-hour programs. You will learn about basic health care, infection control, emergency response, personal care, end-of-life care and client rights among many other skills during your training.
Once you have successfully been listed on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry, you can apply for a job at one of the many health care facilities in Philadelphia. You will quickly find that your job is very hands-on. You are the eyes and ears of the nursing staff and will be interacting with patients constantly. Your job will include such activities as answering call lights, helping patients with dressing and grooming, repositioning patients, taking vital signs, reporting to nurses and charting in certain cases.
As of May 2018, there were over 38,000 CNA jobs in Philadelphia, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that CNA jobs will grow by 11 percent by 2026 across the country, which is a faster-than-average rate. With an average annual pay of $31,090, CNAs will find themselves paid slightly more per hour in Philadelphia than they would in many other U.S. cities.
The average CNA salary in Philadelphia is $28,091 (BLS)
As you travel to CNA training classes or to your new job, you will want to find the easiest and most cost-effective methods of getting around busy Philadelphia. If you choose to drive your own car, look for one of the thousands of metered spots or choose a Philadelphia Parking Authority parking garage. Just watch out for busy Market Street and Frankford Avenue, and try to avoid I-76 especially during rush hour.
To save money, consider using the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which serves the greater Philadelphia area through buses, trolley lines, and railway. In addition, the PATCO train line offers speedy access to numerous locations throughout Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia.
However, Philadelphia is an incredibly walkable city and also offers many great opportunities for bikers who can use the more than 440 miles of dedicated bike lanes. If you do not yet own your own bike, consider renting one at one of the 140 rental stations across Philadelphia. The city has also been rated many times as one of the most walkable cities in the U.S. Simply follow the “Walk! Philadelphia” signs throughout downtown, or use the easy north/south, east/west grid to make sense of the city yourself.
Community College of Philadelphia is an excellent resource if you want to become a CNA in the city. The school has served well over 600,000 students since it opened in 1965. Whether you choose to learn at the main campus or at one of the three regional centers, you will find an array of class offerings and class times that let you study at the best time for you.
Nurse aide classes here generally last for four weeks with the first half of the time spent in the classroom and the second half spent in clinicals at local health care facilities. If you want to extend your time, you can choose the longer two-month option that meets only in the evenings. Both options cost $1,495. Your classes here will cover the most important CNA topics, including safety, accident prevention, communication, legal and ethical concerns, long-term care, resident rights, nutrition and infection control.
Be sure to register at least two weeks before the start of your class. You will need a high school diploma or GED to begin and must pass a complete physical examination and a criminal background check before completing registration.
|American Red Cross- East Chapter||2221 Chestnut St||Philadelphia||PA||19103||215-299-4154|
|Genesis Chapel Manor Center||1104 Welsh Rd||Philadelphia||PA||19115||215-676-9191|
|Community College of Philadelphia||1700 Spring Garden St C1-9||Philadelphia||PA||19130||267-299-5933|
|Entry Level Nurse Aide Program||6761 Germantown Ave||Philadelphia||PA||19119||215-843-4262|
|Health and Tech Training Institute||100 South Broad St, 10th Fl||Philadelphia||PA||19107||215-568-2220|
|Mercy Career & Technical HS||2900 W. Hunting Park Ave||Philadelphia||PA||19129||215-226-1225|
|New World Business School||9857 Bustleton Ave||Philadelphia||PA||19115||215-856-7316|
|Phila Academy for Nurse Aide Trng||958 Bustleton Ave||Philadelphia||PA||19915||215-495-3473|
|Prism Health Aide Training, Inc||8040 Roosevelt Blvd||Philadelphia||PA||19124||215-329-1322|
|Penn Asian Vocational Institute||6926 Old York Rd||Philadelphia||PA||19046||215-572-1234|
While CNA training in Philadelphia is generally considered to be quite affordable, you may still find it hard to fit these costs into your budget. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can find free or lower-cost training programs. The best way is to turn to your employer if you already work at a long-term care facility. The federal Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program requires these employers to pay for your training.
On the other hand, you can get your training costs reimbursed if you get a job within 12 months after taking the examination. Simply turn in your reimbursement receipt to your employer.
Germantown Home is one such nursing home offering free CNA classes to those working for them. In addition, Holy Redeemer HealthCare offers free nursing assistant training through the American Red Cross.