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CNA Certification In Pennsylvania

Acquiring CNA certification in Pennsylvania and getting your name added to the PA State Nurse Aide Registry is not an easy task. You need to follow a stepwise procedure for this purpose which includes completing a program program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and passing the nurse aide competency exam, i.e., the NNAAP examination.

Eligibility Criteria for Candidates Applying for Licensure by Examination

The basic requirement is that the aspirant’s age should be at least 16 years or more. Additionally, the candidates are supposed to provide a criminal background check and must not have any substantiated findings or convictions on record against them in any other licensing board or state registry.

For applying by examination, candidates may choose any of the eligibility routes:

  • Successfully complete a CNA Program course approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education within the past 2 years. You need to submit a copy verifying the same.
  • If you are a student nurse and permitted to test by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, you need to attach a copy of the authorization to test letter along with the completed application.
  • If your PA nursing assistant registration has lapsed since you have not performed services related to nursing for a minimum of 2 consecutive years, you just have one chance to pass the NNAAP examination. If you fail, you will be required to complete the nurse aide program again. You must enclose a photocopy of your PA Nurse Aide Registration Card with your application.
  • If you are a CNA on the nurse aide registry of another state, but your license has lapsed since you have not worked in services related to nursing for a minimum of 2 consecutive years, you will be given one chance to qualify the NNAAP exam. If you fail, you need to complete the CNA Program program again. You must enclose a copy of your out-of-state nurse aide certification documents.

Eligibility Criteria for Candidates Applying by Reciprocity

If you currently hold an active CNA license in another state and your name is listed in that nurse aide (or equivalent) registry in good standing, and wish to enroll on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry, you must apply for certification in the state through reciprocity. You must contact the Pearson VUE via mail or telephone to find out the reciprocity requirements.

  • Mail
    Pennsylvania Department of Health
    Nurse Aide Registry
    PO Box 13785
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101-3785
  • Call at: (800) 852-0518

Procedure for Obtaining CNA License by Examination

Follow the below procedure if you are applying by examination in the state of Pennsylvania:

  • Download the “Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Program NNAAP Examination Registration” application using the below link:
  • Submit the required fee via company check, certified check, or money order, made payable to the “American Red Cross.”Note – If you are currently working in a nursing facility, your exam fees will be paid by the nursing facility.
  • Return your completed application including the fees and other necessary documents to:American Red Cross
    1804 North Sixth Street
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17102

Steps to Obtain Nursing Aide Certification by Endorsement

The step by step procedure for obtaining certification by endorsement is as follows:

Step 1 – Download the “Nurse Aide Registry Application for Enrollment by Reciprocity” through the following link:

Step 2 – Fill all the information mentioned in Part – I of the application and forward the application to the state registry where your name is presently enrolled.

Step 3 – Once the state (where you currently hold the licensure) completes Part – II of the application, return the form to:

Pearson VUE – Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry
PO Box 13785
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101-3785

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The renewal period of CNA license in PA is 2 years. A notification will be mailed by the Pearson VUE approximately 90 days before the expiry of your license to your home address as mentioned on the State Registry.

Renewal Requirements:

In order to renew the nurse aide license, the candidate must have worked as a paid certified nursing assistant for a minimum of 8 consecutive hours (i.e. one documented day) within the past 24 months in a facility approved by the state, which includes personal care home, nursing home, hospital, intermediate care facility, or home health settings.

Method to Renew an Existing License

Use the following link to renew your existing CNA license:

For completing an individual search, you will need to enter:

  • Last Name
  • Registration Number
  • Renewal ID
  • Birth Date

For completing a business search, enter:

  • EIN
  • Registration Number
  • Renewal ID
  • Mailing Address Postal Code

Renewal Status Inquiry

Use the following link to inquire about the renewal status:

For individual search, you will be required to provide the following details:

  • Confirmation ID
  • SSN
  • Last Name

For business search, submit:

  • Confirmation ID
  • EIN
  • Name

Registry Search

Click the below link to search the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry:

If you are searching by “Individual” search type, you will be required to enter:

  • Birth Date
  • Registration Number
  • Registration Type
  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • City

For “Business” search type, enter:

  • Mailing Address Postal Code
  • Registration Number
  • Registration Type
  • Name
  • City

Registry Search by Registration Number

Alternatively, you can also search for license using the individual’s registration number. Use the below link:

You may enter up to 12 registration numbers at a time.

Change of Name or Address

If you are requesting a name change, you need to provide written documents such as copy of a divorce decree, a marriage certificate, or another official document together with the Change of Address or Name Form.


You may use any of the following methods to complete your change request:

  • OnlineTo request name or address change, click on the following link:

    You will be required to enter the following details:

    • Current Name
    • Email Address
    • SSN or Registration Number

    For name change, you must enter your new name, and for change in address you will need to enter:

    • Address
    • City
    • State / Province
    • ZIP / Postal Code
    • Country

    After you submit this form, an e-mail will be sent directly to the customer service and your details will be updated.

    Note – If you are requesting only address change, you can also use the below link:

  • Written Letter ApplicationYou may also send a letter along with all the required documents to inform the Pearson VUE. You must include the following details in your written application:
    • Old name and / or address
    • New name and /or address
    • Telephone number, and
    • Social security number

Lost Registry Cards

If you have lost your Notice of Enrollment / Registry Card, you may request for a new duplicate card to the Pearson VUE. Use the following link to download the Duplicate Registry Card Request Form:

The form is present at the back of this handbook.

Inactive to Active Licensure Status

If your name was previously listed on the State Registry, but you were not employed within the 24 consecutive months or more, in any facility that provides services related to nursing, your licensure status will be changed to “inactive”. Since you were previously an active member of the Registry, you will be given a chance to pass the NNAAP examination. To request a Recertification Test Registration Form, you must contact the Pearson VUE at (800) 852-0518. If you pass in the given opportunity, your status will be changed to “renewed”. Or else, you will be required to complete the CNA Program before re-testing.


Question 1 – For how many months or days can I work as a certified nursing assistant in a facility before getting registered on the nurse aide registry?

Answer – You may work as a CNA for 120 days or 4 months while participating in a competency evaluation program and/or nurse aide program.

Question 2 – I was annotated on the PA Nurse Aide Registry. How can I reinstate my license now?

Answer – You may request for reinstatement after 1 complete year from the annotation date only if you were annotated for “neglect”.

Question 3 – How many program hours do I need to complete, in order to be eligible to take the competency exam?

Answer – Pennsylvania requires candidates to complete 80 hours of program, out of which 37.5 hours must be dedicated to the clinical practice.