Welcome to our all-inclusive guide on launching a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) career in Pennsylvania! If you're passionate about assisting others and wish to embark on a gratifying healthcare profession, you've arrived at the right spot. This blog post will lead you through the entire CNA journey in Pennsylvania, from training and certification to securing your ideal job in the Keystone State. Let's begin!
In Pennsylvania, expect to pay an average of $1,300 for a CNA class, which typically takes 4-12 weeks to complete. The Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Competency Exam fee is $135, and CNAs in the state can anticipate earning around $14-20/hour as a starting salary.
Pennsylvania law doesn't require a high school diploma or GED for CNAs. However, some schools may require this anyway, especially any community colleges or technical colleges. If you don't have a high school diploma or GED, a small, private training program is your best bet. You can view which schools require and don't require a high school diploma on Dreambound.
However, you are still required to have basic proficiency in reading/math, so these schools will administer an 8th-grade equivalent exam testing both of these.
Dreambound allows you to look for CNA training programs based on the zip code of your choice. You’ll be able to compare various schools at the same time and view important enrollment information such as: class schedules, payment plans, and upcoming class date information.
Credentia, who administers the CNA exam in Pennsylvania as of May 2023, offers a comprehensive handbook for candidates. You can register for your CNA exam on the Credentia website, but note that if you just completed a training program, your school will likely handle this for you.
Much like the training program, the exam has two components: a theory portion which can be taken written or orally, and the skills portion. The full exam costs $135. You have 3 chances to pass both parts of the exam. If you do not pass the first time, retaking just the written or oral section costs $50. Taking just the skills portion costs $85.
You can contact Pennsylvania NNAAP at (800) 457-6752 with any questions.
You may work for 4 months or 120 days while participating in your CNA training. That means that you also have 4 months to pass the exam before you can’t work as a CNA anymore, although many employers require the certification.
Dreambound graduates have found success finding CNA roles using job boards (eg Indeed, Monster, etc), support from their training provider, or inquiring with their clinical site. Important: if you get a job offer from a nursing facility within 12 months of completing your training, the facility must reimburse the cost of your training for the period you are employed as a CNA.
Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.