CNA Certification in Pennsylvania

A career as a nursing assistant can be a rewarding career if you are interested in an entry level position in the healthcare industry.  This career provides a good starting point if you intend to advance your career in the medical field.

CNA Training Programs in Pennsylvania

Before you can become a certified nursing assistant, you will need to complete a training program.  The program must be one that is state-approved or else you will not qualify to take the certification exam or to work as a certified nursing assistant.  Training programs must be a minimum of 120 hours of instruction.  Some programs will be even more extensive.  All programs include classroom and clinical instruction for nursing assistant students.

Completion of a nursing assistant training program will make you eligible to sit for the nursing assistant certification exam in Pennsylvania  You will need to complete both the written and skills portion of the test (with a passing score) to receive your certification.

CNA Certification Transfer Through Reciprocity in Pennsylvania

You can apply to receive CNA certification through reciprocity in the state of Pennsylvania if you hold certification in another state. Contact the nursing aide registry in Pennsylvania to receive an application for reciprocity or visit the Pearson Vue website at:

Complete Part I of the reciprocity form and forward the application to registry where you currently hold an active certificate. A list of state registries can be found at: Your former state registry will complete Part II and return it directly to Pearson Vue.

The Nursing Aide Registry in Pennsylvania will consider your application for reciprocity. If they approve your application, you will then be able to seek employment as a nursing assistant in Pennsylvania

CNA License Renewal in Pennsylvania

You are required to renew your certification every 2 years. You should receive your renewal form about 90 days prior to the expiration date of your certification. In order to renew your certification in Pennsylvania, you are required to work for pay as a nursing assistant for a minimum of 8 hours during the 24-month certification period. You must work in a nursing environment such as a nursing home, hospital or home health setting to renew your certificate. If you were self-employed or worked as a private duty CNA, it will not count toward the required hours of work for certification renewal.

Complete all sections of the recertification form and submit any necessary fees and documentation. Once your renewal is successfully completed, you will receive a new registry card in the mail. You can also renew your certification if it has expired in the state of Pennsylvania. You can contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health Nurse Aide Registry managed by Pearson Vue at 1-800-852-0518 to find out how to renew your expired certification. They will provide you with the necessary forms and instructions for renewing your CNA certification.


Q:  I had a CNA certification in New York but did not work for awhile because I wanted to be home with our children for awhile. My certification has lapsed.  We are planning to move to Pennsylvania later this year.  Would I need to become certified all over again when we move to Pennsylvania?

A:  Pennsylvania does allow individuals to transfer an active CNA certification to Pennsylvania if they meet all requirements.  One such requirement is that the certification be active in your state of certification.  Therefore, you would first need to contact the Nursing Aide Registry in New York to determine how to renew your certification.  Take the necessary steps to renew your certification so that it is active once again.

Q:  If I am able to have an active CNA certification in New York again, then what do I do?

A:  You can then contact the Department of Health in PA.  They can provide you with an application to transfer your certification to Pennsylvania.  There will be various information you must provide on the application as well as documentation that you must provide to prove you completed a state approved CNA training program and to provide proof of your employment history as well as proof that your certification is in good standing.  Contact the DOH through Pearson VUE (handles CNA certification in PA) at PO BOX 13785 in Philadelphia PA 19101.

Helpful Resources: Free CNA programs in Pennsylvania and Accredited CNA classes in Pennsylvania


39 Responses to CNA Certification in Pennsylvania

  1. helen l. parks December 1, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    my certification expired a couple years ago what do i need to do to get my certification again

    • Admin December 1, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

      Hi Helen,
      You’ll have to contact the nursing board in Pennsylvania. Most likely you’ll have to redo the training and classes again.

    • bev September 17, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

      Helen, as long as you have worked 8 hours out of the past 2 years you don’t have to re-take the class. You just need to get the website from harrisburg idk what it is. And send for your license

    • patricia mccollum June 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      i need to renew my nusing assistant cerfication it has expired. how do i go by getting a new one.

  2. kim June 6, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    I lost my license. I need to know how to get a new one.

    • Admin June 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

      You’d need to contact the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide registry and request a copy of your license.

  3. nicole welsh July 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    i need to renew my certification for cna expired in 09

    • Admin July 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

      You will need to contact your state nursing board. Most likely, you will need to retake the training as well as the test

  4. Ray August 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    My license expired may 2011…. how do I renew it online to make it current right away for work?

  5. Rach August 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi I am trying to get into a training program as a CNA. I am currently going to school for Respiratory Therapy and wanted some hands on people experience. However, I applied to two assisted living homes recently and I am afraid they will not call me back because I have a misdemeanor charge of death and personal injury when I got into a car accident and the other person was injured and I had no car insurance. I also have two summary offenses. Will this prevent me from getting the job?! Also right after you train you start work for the facility that is the deal. Let me know!!

  6. Kathy August 15, 2011 at 4:01 am #

    I have done all the steps and paid to have my florida cna lic. transfered up to Pa and I would like to know how to track the status of it. I had a job and they pulled my off the floor without pay until the license arrives. PLEASE help I am in need of this job bad to survive and cant get anywhere on any of these websites.

  7. sawaya m. January 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    I became certified in september of 2011 I moved during a emergency an I never got my certifications in the mail…. how do I have it sent to my new address

    • Admin January 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

      You should check the Pennsylvania CNA registry to see if your certification is active and valid. If your name is in good standing, you can request the registry to send you a copy of your license.

  8. Brenae March 1, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    I got my CNA certification back in 2006 and it expired in 2008 bc no one would hire me until I was 18, so I only had 3 months to find a job. I really want to become a CNA again, but can’t find any places around me to retake classes. Is there any way I can get more information?

  9. G March 8, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Hi all,
    I have a friend that has completed everything for her CNA, but had an issue with a professor who did not give out the certification to that particular class. She has talked to some people and they said as long as she can get some kind of code off of this teacher she will be okay; unfortunately, the professor will not give her the code. Does anyone know who she could go to or contact in order to get this information?


  10. lori May 3, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Hi, my question is if i’m licenced as a cna in the state of pa and I work in the state of md does the 8 hours count in the 2 year period to keep my licence or do i have to only work in pa for my hours. thanks

    • Admin June 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

      I am sorry to report that in order to keep your license current in the state of issuance, you must get the time in that state.If you plan on continuing to work in MD, here is what I would do: Go to a home health company and ask to do some fill in hours or part time hours. This will give you what you need to stay current and still work in your desired area. Good luck!

  11. Emily August 31, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    I am a licensed cna in il and am looking to have it transferred to pa. The application asks for the expiration date of my license, but il licenses don’t have specific expiration dates. They just expire after 2 years of not working. Do i just leave that part blank?

    • Admin September 1, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      All licenses generally have expiration dates. You need to submit your paperwork proving your employment for every two year period for it to get renewed for another two years.

  12. william November 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    i would like to know if my cna certifcate is in good standing with the state of Pa.

  13. mel January 31, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    I have a PA CNA license, looking for a job in MD. Is it possible to have the license reciprocity from PA to MD, but if I find a job in PA later, switch back to PA?

  14. Ranel February 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Hi, I am trying for two weeks to contact PA Registry Pearsonvue Philla telephone number 800-852-0518 for a reciprocity form. I am currently living in Massachusetts but am moving back to PA. I need the reciprocity form before I move which is in March. I have been put on hold for over 25 minutes every time I call the registry and hang up because I only have a cell phone and the calls are eating up my minutes. Please help me get a reciprocity form.
    Thank You,

  15. bridge February 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    If I have a current cna certificate in nj could I transfer it to pa?

  16. Kelli February 27, 2013 at 11:15 pm #


    I have experience working in an assisted living enviorment, doing everything except meds, (bathing, transfers, dressing, etc). Is it a requirement in the state of PA to have a CNA certicifation?

    • Admin February 28, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Kelli, Yes it is! You’ll still get employed but as a caregiver which would give you a far lesser pay.

  17. Julie March 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    i have completed the training and got my certificate from school saying I’m lined up o take the test next month so i just had an interview with a major hosipital it went well and im waiting for a response, i went online and saw the requriments and it say you must be certified in PA. Is that the same as having your certificate from school or being reg.? and wht do they mean by you can work 120 days with out it?

    • Admin March 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      Hi Julie, Thank you for commenting:
      1) Being certified in PA means having passed the licensing exams in the state of PA. Being on the CNA registry. In your case, you still need to complete the exam and pass before you’ll be on the registry.
      2) The 120 days rule is mostly used in scenarios where your licencing is being transferred from another state to PA. It won’t apply in your case unless you’ve already done the exam and are waiting for documentation.

  18. Daniel March 19, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    Hi, my license expired on may 2012, I worked as a CNA for at least 2 months when my license was still active but it was an individual customer and I was paid in cash. can still renew my licence?

    • Admin March 19, 2013 at 8:09 am #

      Normally, you must have worked as a CNA for 8 hours in a 2 year period to have your license renewed. Unfortunately proof of employment working under a RN is necessary. home health care does not count.

  19. MLB May 11, 2013 at 3:06 am #

    With my CNA license, can I work in the hospital and still be able to renew my license?

    • Admin May 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      Yup! As long as you work under the supervision of a nurse

  20. susan goldman October 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    I am currently working at a nursing home PRN. Also working 30 hours or so a week in Health Hone Care. With clients ranging from dementia to cerebral palsy and head and back injuries. Some of these just need a HHAide. A few of my clients need a CNA. How do I find out if I can continue renewing my license with out working at the Nursing Home? I would like to do Home Health Care full time. But keep my CNA certification. Will this work? Susan

  21. Sandy November 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Gm! My PA Cna certification expired 4/2012 I have been working in the state of De as a cna,what do I need to do to get my PA certification back?

  22. Kris July 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    I have a current NC certification how would I transfer that to Pennsylvania?

  23. Jenna September 29, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    I am certified in Pennsylvania and still work at a nursing home in Pennsylvania. I recently moved to New Jersey, is this still legal for me to be working in Pennsylvania?

    • Ketura Berthomieux January 8, 2021 at 7:08 am #

      Ketura Berthomieux, January 8,2021.
      Hi,I’m certified in New Jersey. Since 2012 I renewed my cna license. I never received it.I sent several letters to the nursing board. Since that. What can I do?
      Please I need help.

  24. Laura Sementilli November 5, 2019 at 8:03 pm #

    After I got injured at work, my nursing home said I couldn’t renew my certification because I couldn’t do the floor work.. I could have fed residents, made beds, passed water, anything that didn’t involve lifting. They told me no so I had to leave my license go. Now they are telling other people who work here that can’t do lifting, because of their injury that all they have to do is work in nursing home setting and they can renew theirs which was just done today. I had my certification for 24 years and if something happened I couldn’t work here anymore I could have used my certification at a Dr.’s office which some doctors around here take that for hire. So which is it you have to be able to do floor work or just work in a nursing home setting. I was also told there was a regulation that states floor work but I can’t find it anywhere or any site.

  25. Arnetia May 19, 2022 at 10:34 pm #

    Hello. I had a PA cna license up until 2016. I had a medical emergency around my renewal date which forced me to let it lapse. I moved to NC shortly after and gained a CNA license there. My NC can is currently active and still in good standing. I want to transfer my license back to PA. How would I go about doing that?

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