CNA Schools in Pennsylvania: Complete Guide

In today’s economic climate most of the industries have suffered huge setbacks forcing them to decrease the headcount.

In such a scenario it is important that you chose a career very carefully so that you can have a secure job and you will not have to worry about your monthly bills.

The healthcare industry offers many such career options if you have a liking for this field. One such career is certified nursing assistant; it is a steady job and trained professionals are in great demand.

If you join one of the CNA nursing schools in Pennsylvania you can look forward to a rewarding career in this state.

Due to the slowdown health insurance companies like Medicare and Medicaid advocate the profession of nurse aides as it reduces the cost of medical care significantly.

The hourly wages of registered nurses (RN) are very high as compared to nursing assistants and if RNs are required to provide basic healthcare activities like moving and feeding patients etc. the cost will be high; hence CNA plays a vital role in cost reduction and also lessen the workload of RNs.

Some of the popular CNA classes in Pennsylvania are conducted by

  • Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg
  • Admiral Peary Area Vocational Technical School in Ebensburg
  • Middle Bucks Institute of Technology in Jamison
  • Lehigh-Carbon Community College in Allentown

The Red Cross chapter of Philadelphia also offers nurse aide training.

These are all highly reputed institutes which provide quality training and are approved by the state of Pennsylvania.

Becoming a Nurse Aide in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has appointed the Nurse Aide Registry office to set the rules and regulations for the nurse aide training and certification.

To become a certified nursing assistant you must enroll in a program that is approved by this registry.

The registry scrutinizes the training program after fixed time periods and if it finds that the programs is not providing quality training or has violated any rules, the approval of the training is withdrawn.

To enroll in such a program you must be 16 years of age and must be in good health both physically and mentally; you must undergo a medical test to establish the same.

A criminal background check must be conducted by the State Police Department and a report must be obtained.

It takes three to four weeks to complete this check and you must submit the report at the time of admission to the program.

You need not have a high school diploma or GED for the program but it is required at the time of certification.

The average cost of training is $1000; some institutes offer training which starts at $400 and it can go up to $1500 in other institutes.

The high cost programs take care of all the costs including the study material, equipment’s and exam fee.

Some even include the cost of medical examination and criminal background check.

You can search for free training in local medical facilities; these facilities offer free training if you agree to work for them for a period of around 12 months after certification.

The health department of Pennsylvania also has some scholarship programs if you are facing some financial crisis.

How Long Does It Take To Become a CNA in Pennsylvania?

CNA programs in Pennsylvania have to strictly follow the guidelines set by the nurse aide registry and they provide training for 120 hours divided into classroom study and clinical training.

The classroom curriculum includes

  • Infection control
  • Nutrition
  • Resident rights
  • Communication skills etc.

While the clinical training involves nursing skills like

  • Restorative care
  • Psychosocial
  • Sub acute care
  • Vital signs
  • Personal hygiene etc.

After you complete the training you must attempt the state examination within 24 months; if you fail to do so the training is considered to be void.

The exam includes two papers; the written paper has 50 multiple choice questions and the practical skills paper requires you to perform five skills.

For the written test the passing grade is 80% and the skills paper requires you to perform the skills to 100% satisfaction of the examiner.

If you pass the exam you will receive a registry card which must be renewed every two years; renewal is based on the regulations set by the registry. Other state CNA can transfer their license to Pennsylvania by applying for reciprocity.

How Much Does a CNA Make in Pennsylvania?

More than 75,000 people were working in Pennsylvania as certified nursing assistants and the figure is expected to grow by 20% over the next five years which means the state will need 15000 more trained professionals in this period.

So if you have decided to make a livelihood by becoming a nurse aide you will have many employment opportunities knocking your doors.

The average CNA salary in Pennsylvania is $26,000 which is a tad lower than the national average of $27,000, but if you become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or RN you can earn $43,000 and $70,000 a year which is a good salary considering the median household income of the state which stands at $48,000.

If you are looking for a stable job with long term rewards and career growth, enroll in one of the CNA nursing schools in Pennsylvania and get a head-start in the honorable nursing career.


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