CNA Classes & Programs in Pennsylvania
Certified nursing assistants (CNAs), also known as nursing aides, are important members of the healthcare team, performing many basic nursing duties under the supervision of a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN). An entry-level nursing position, nursing assistants are required to complete an approved training program and pass their state’s certification exam before beginning work in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals. Typical duties for CNAs include assisting patients with range-of-motion exercises and activities of daily living such as bathing, eating and dressing, recording patient vital signs, and cleaning patient rooms. In Pennsylvania, CNAs earn an average annual salary of $30,010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The first step in becoming a CNA in Pennsylvania is completing a CNA training program approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Health and then passing the state's certification exam. Many training programs take only a matter of weeks to complete, making this a great entry point to a career in nursing for those who wish to begin working as soon as possible. For more information about CNA training programs admissions requirements in Pennsylvania, please visit our CNA Training Programs Admissions page.
- Program Length: The State of Pennsylvania recommends CNA training programs that include at least 130 hours of instruction, which includes classroom instruction and hands-on clinical practice in a medical facility. Programs are offered around the state in vocational schools, nursing homes, community colleges, and some high schools. The time it takes to complete a program varies from school to school but typically takes 4-8 weeks to complete.
- Program Cost: The cost of a CNA training program can vary from school to school. In some cases, some healthcare facilities and nursing homes offer free training or tuition reimbursement in exchange for working for the facility upon certification. As one example of program fees, Harrisburg Area Community College's nursing assistant training program costs $1098, which includes tuition and a textbook. Typical costs for a CNA program will include tuition, textbook, supplies such as stethoscope and uniform, physical exam/TB test and criminal background check fees and certification exam fees.
- Board Approved Programs: The Pennsylvania Department of Education approves nursing aide training programs in the state. It is important to choose a state-approved program to ensure that your education meets all the guidelines for certification and employment. For a full listing of state-approved training programs updated annually, visit the Department of Education website. For more information, check out the CNA certification requirements for Pennsylvania.
- Online/In-Person Options: CNA training programs consist of classroom instruction followed by hands-on practical experience of nursing skills. While most training programs are in-person courses, in some cases the classroom training portion may be offered in an online format. These hybrid online/in-person programs offer students the flexibility of completing coursework whenever it is convenient and from home. As each state has its own requirements for CNA training, it is important to choose a program that meets your home state's criteria.
To get a feel for the CNA curriculum in Pennsylvania, see our list of classes and courses available in the state:
Jim Thorpe, PA
Willow Street, PA
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