Pennsylvania Nursing Assistant / Nurse Aide Guide

Is a License or Certification needed:  To get certified and work as a nursing assistant or nurse aide in Pennsylvania, you need to complete a nursing assistant program and pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam.

Who Grants Certification: The Pennsylvania Department of Health grants certification to Pennsylvania nursing assistants and nurse aides.

The Qualifications to become Certified:

To qualify to receive a nursing assistant or nurses aide certification in Pennsylvania you must complete a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved nurse aide training program within the past 24 months and pass the NNAAP exam.

How to Apply for Certification and to take the Exam:

In order to apply for nursing assistant or nurses aide certification in Pennsylvania, you will need to mail your application and a few other items to the American Red Cross.
 
Complete the application form and include the following in your package:
  • A money order, certified check or company check in the proper amount
  • A photocopy of your nurse aide training certificate that was issued within the past 24 months
Mail them to:
        
American Red Cross
1804 North Sixth Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
 
Call 800-795-2350 with any inquiries about scheduling a test. Test sites are listed here.

Test Content

The NNAAP test has two parts, a Skills Evaluation and a Written (or oral) part.  Both parts must be passed to be listed on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry. The written section is 70 questions in length, 60 are multiple choice and 10 are reading comprehension questions. Take two pencils with you. You will have two full hours to complete the exam. (The oral exam if given in place of the written exam is 160 questions in length.) The Skills Evaluation will be a 25 minute time period given to complete 5 randomly selected nurse aide skills.
Content topics include:
  • Activities of Daily Living – Hygiene, Dressing and Grooming, Nutrition and Hydration, Elimination, Rest/Comfort/Sleep
  • Basic Nursing Skills - Infection Control, Safety/Emergency, Therapeutic/Technical Procedures, Data Collection and Reporting
  • Restorative Skills – Prevention, Self-care/Independence
  • Psychosocial Care Skills – Emotional and Mental Health Needs
  • Spiritual and Cultural Needs
  • Communication
  • Client Rights
  • Legal and Ethical Behavior
  • Member of the Health Care Team
See the Candidate Handbook for more details.

Certification Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements:

About 90 days before your license expires, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will mail a notification to the home address you listed on your application. Be sure to notify them if your address changes at any time for this reason.

Only 8 hours of employment during the past 24 months are required, although this must be paid employment, not volunteer work, and in a nursing environment such as a nursing home, home health setting or a hospital. Follow the instructions on your renewal application.

Contact

PA Nurse Aide Registry 
PA Department of Health 
Division of Nursing Care Facilities 
Room 526, Health & Welfare Building 
625 Forster Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120 
Phone: 717-787-1816


Registry Managed by:
Pearson VUE 
PO Box 13785 
Philadelphia, PA 19101-3785 
Phone: 800-852-0518

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To prepare for your nursing assistant or nurse aide exam, use Tests.com’s Certified Nursing Assistant Exam Practice Test Kit with 300 multiple choice questions, written by nursing experts and educators.

For more information on licensing and exam prep, go to Tests.com's CNA Test Guide.

And take Tests.com's free CNA Practice Test.

For nursing assistant and nurse aide exam preparation products and services, such as study guides, practice tests, flashcards and courses, go to Tests.com's CNA listings.

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