CNA Certification in Pennsylvania

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To become a Certified Nursing Assistant in Pennsylvania requires taking the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved training programs and the NNAAP examination. The agency called DASHER accepts the exam registration forms and monitors exams scheduling. The exams are under the administration of the American Red Cross. Aspirants need to be on the CNA registry to practice as a CNA in the state. The state registry is maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Health Nurse Aide Registry which is governed by Pearson Vue.

Eligibility Requirements

Enrolment requirements for a CNA training course in Pennsylvania involve:

  • Minimum age must be 16 or above;
  • Proof of criminal background check, including fingerprinting and felony check;
  • No past conviction record;
  • Evidence of a GED or a High School graduation; and
  • Attended the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved training program.

How to Apply

The state of Pennsylvania frees some candidates from the training. These candidates are those

  • who allowed their CNA license to expire; and
  • who hold CNA certification of other states.

These candidates can directly apply for the examination. If they are unable to qualify the exam in the first attempt then they are obliged to take the training program. Training programs take roughly around 4 weeks divided equally between the practical and classroom learning.

Aspirants, who need the training, can get a list of the state approved training programs at a link-


To obtain a CNA training in the state costs between $800 and $ 1300. Besides this, there are more expenses in the form of testing fee.  There are two sections in the test- the practical and the written. The fee is charged depending upon the testing method chosen by students.

Both Practical and Written testing: $ 102
Orally administered both the testing: $ $ 112
Written retesting: $ 41
Skill retesting: $ 61
Either Oral retesting: $ 51

Certificate Renewal

  • The CNA certificate remains valid for 24 months from the date of issue.
  • Candidates can renew the license only if they provide the evidence of working a certified nursing aide for 8 hours workday.      

Must Know Facts

  • After completing the state approved CNA training programs, aspirants get 24 months to qualify the examination.
  • Candidates can work as a certified nursing assistant in a nursing home for up to 4 months. During these 4 months they must earn the CNA license to carry on the nursing services.
  • It is mandatory for CNAs to gain in-service education of 12 hours every year. The nursing home where CNAs work, must document all this.
  • It is important to take the background check. Candidates, who are resident of Pennsylvania for more than 2 years, need to take only a State Police Background check before applying for the training. Those who lived in PA for less than 2 years need to take FBI Background Check.
  • There are certain convictions that may prevent candidates from enrolment.