CNA Exams in Pennsylvania

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To appear on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry, CNA aspirants of the state must apply and take the NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) Examination.   The NNAAP examination determines aspirants’ ability to provide quality nursing services in long-term health care centres.

To create, score and prepare the results of the NNAAP examination, the Pennsylvania Department of Health works in close association with Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE is a nationally recognised group that provides assessment services to national associations and regulatory agencies. Pearson VUE works with Dasher to schedule the examination, and with the American Red Cross to monitor the exams.


Candidates can become eligible for testing in Pennsylvania if:

  • Minimum age of aspirants must not be less than16 years.
  • No criminal background.

Eligibility routes for testing are:

E0: Candidates who have finished the Pennsylvania Department of Educationapproved nurse aide training program, within the past 2 years.

E1: Candidates whose nurse aide certification has lapsed because they have not provided nursing services for minimum 24 consecutive months. These candidates have to qualify both parts of the NNAAP Examination in one attempt. If they fail, they must re-train themselves to become eligible for testing again.

E2:  Candidates who earned CNA certification in another state but their nurse aide certification has now lapsed as they have not provided nursing service in a health-care setting for minimum 24 consecutive months. These candidates get one attempt to qualify the NNAAP Examination. If they are unable then they must re-take nurse aide training first and retake the examination then.

Eligibility by Reciprocity: Candidates, who are in good standing and    active on nurse aide registry of another state, must contact Pearson VUE to know the procedure to appear on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry.

Components of the NNAAP Examination

The NNAAP Examination is comprised of Written/Oral Examination and Skills Evaluation. Both parts of the exam are administered on the same. To appear on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry, candidates need to qualify both parts of the exam.

Written Examination: This part of the examination involves 70 multiple choice questions. The questions are asked only in English language. Students have to complete the written examination within 2 hours. Students have to mark answers on given mark-sheet, not in the test booklet.

Oral Examination: Candidates who got difficulty in reading English may give oral examination in place of the written examination. This part consists of 10 reading word recognition/ comprehension questions (read thrice) and 60 multiple choice questions (read twice). The section of reading comprehension is to test students’ knowledge about job related common words. Students get 2 hours to complete the oral examination. Students must qualify both sections to pass the Oral Examination. Candidates must request for oral examination at the time of submitting their registration form.

Skills Evaluation:

  • Candidates have to demonstrate 5 random chosen skills during the Skills Evaluation. “Hand -washing” is one skill that all candidates are asked to perform.
  • Each skill got a step, called Critical Element Step. This step is written in bold font and students must perform this step correctly in order to pass the skill.
  • Nurse Evaluator rates on performed skills.
  • It is must for every student to perform 1 measurement skill (like radial -pulse, blood pressure, urine output, respirations or weight). Students are given Recording Sheetat the test site to record the measurement.

Examination Fees

The fee to take the NNAAP Examination in the state of Pennsylvania is as follows:

Written Examination and Skills Evaluation

Both Exams

$ 102

Oral Examination and Skills Evaluation

Both Exams

$ 112

Skills Evaluation ONLY

Retest Exam

$ 61

Written Examination ONLY

Retest Exam

$ 41

Oral Examination ONLY

Retest Exam

$ 51

  • Candidates must pay for both- the Written/Oral Examination and Skills Evaluation, when they test for the first time.
  • Under Pennsylvania and Federal Laws, the examination fee of nurse assistant employees is paid by their nursing homes.
  • Certified check and money order are the only modes to pay the examination fee, and it should be payable in the name of “Pearson VUE”.
  • Certified check or money order must carry candidates’ name even if it payable by their employer.
  • Credit cards, personal checks and cash are unacceptable.
  • Fees are non-transferrable and non-refundable once received by Dasher as it includes administrative costs of testing and registration.

Application and Scheduling


  • Candidates have to fill a registration form to apply for the NNAAP Examination.
  • The form is available from nurse aide training program, nursing facility employer or by contacting Dasher.
  • To apply for the examination, candidates must submit appropriate examination fee, a copy of their nurse aide training certificates along with the registration form in an envelope to the address:


Pearson VUE Nurse Aide Training

PO Box 60728

Harrisburg, PA 17106-0728

  • For any query related to the registration form, candidates may contact Dasher Customer Service Representatives at: 877-647-1091.


  • Dasher schedules students’ testing. Dasher schedule testing only after it receives required documents, registration form and fees.
  • Dasher mails Confirmation Letter of students at the address they mention in their examination application after scheduling the examination.
  • Confirmation Letter carries vital information about the exam. If the letter gets delayed by 10 business days, they must contact Dasher at: 877-647-1091.

Testing Location: Candidates must dial (877) 647-1091 or visit  to know the schedule of their desirable test site.

Special Testing Accommodation for Disabled candidates: Pearson VUE provides full access to the exam to candidates with documented disabilities. Disabled candidates get following test accommodations if they demonstrate requirement of accommodations-

  • Extra testing time
  • A separate testing room
  • A recorder or reader for candidates with vision impairment.

Cancellation and Rescheduling

  • Candidates must contact Dasher minimum 3 business days prior to the scheduled exam date in order to re-schedule the exam, if they are not able to attend the exam on a scheduled date.
  • There is no penalty and paid examination fee is transferred to a new exam-date, if candidates notify Dasher timely. Employed candidates must inform their employer regarding re-scheduling the examination.
  • Candidates must contact Dasher at: 877-647-1091 to re-schedule the exam.

Acceptable reasons for missing out the exam:

  • Military duty
  • Death in the family
  • Jury date or court appearance
  • Disabling traffic accident
  • Illness of candidates or of their immediate family member.

What to Bring on the Exam Day

Students must reach the test center at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled examination time with the following materials:

  • Two signature bearing official identification forms. Out of the two, one needs to be photo identification. Identifications must be original; their photocopy s unacceptable.

A list of acceptable identification includes:

  • Clinic card
  • Driver’s License
  • Identification card issued by state
  • Credit card
  • Library card
  • Alien registration card
  • Passport

NOTE: Name on students’ identification must match with their name on the Examination Application. If the name differs, candidates must carry proof of their name change (such as a copy of marriage license) to the test venue.

  • Social Security card
  • Three number 2 sharpened pencils

Without identifications, candidates are not permitted to write the exam and examination fee is also non-refundable in this case.

Exam Result

Candidates are given Official Score Report that shows their performance in Written/ Oral Examination and Skills Evaluation. The Report tells whether students have successfully passed the examination or not.  Results are not announced over the telephone.

When technical glitch arises then answer sheet is hand scored by the Pearson VUE. In this case, the result tends to get delayed by 5-7 days.  If there is further delay in receiving the result, then candidates must call Pearson VUE at: 800-852-0518.

Failing Score Report:

The failing Score Report shows how either or both parts of the NNAAP Examination can be re-taken.  To re-test the exam, candidates must submit a new examination application or a copy of failing Score Report. An appropriate fee for re-taking the exam is also charged every time from students. Employers pay fee if candidates are employed in their care facilities. Candidates get 3 attempts to qualify both the parts of the examination. If they can’t, then they have to complete the CNA training course again and after this, they have to re-take both of the exams, instead of taking only the failed part.

Score Report of Skills Evaluation lists all the 5 performed skills. Passed skill is marked as “Satisfactory” and failed skill is marked as “Unsatisfactory”. Failing Score Report provides reason behind failing the skill.

Passing Score Report

Candidates who successfully qualify both parts of the NNAAP Examination, their name appears on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry, and candidates become ‘Certified Nursing Assistant’. Pearson VUE mails Registry Card to qualified candidates within 3 weeks after successfully passing both sections of the exam.  Employers ask for Registry Card, hence candidates must not make any change in their Registry Card as it may affect their status as a Nurse assistant.