The information below describes
the process for the enrolling and testing of individuals who wish to perform
nurse aide duties in long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania .
Included is an explanation of who
is eligible to be tested, an overview of the examination, and guidelines for
enrollment into the nurse aide registry.
The Pennsylvania Department of
Aging has contracted with Pearson VUE, a nationally recognized, independent
testing company to develop, score, and report the results of the examination
program for registration of nurse aides.
Eligibility by Examination
You are eligible for testing if you have completed a nurse aide
training program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education within
the last 24 months. Or
Your Pennsylvania nurse aide registry has lapsed because you
have not worked one documented day providing nursing related services for 24
months or more.
If you are eligible under one of
the categories above, you should complete a registration form with the
assistance of your training program provider, director of nursing, facility
administrator, or other employer. The registration form is available online at Pearson Vue Pennsylvania Nurse Aides or by
contacting Pearson VUE at 1-800-852-0518. Student nurses or applicants trained
out of state must submit the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved
application with their registration form.
Testing Scheduling Process
Complete the registration form by
following the instructions on that application.
Testing is scheduled through:
3 Bala Plaza West Suite 400A
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
of Operation: Mon. – Fri. 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone)
Either your training program,
your employer, or you must contact Credentia to schedule testing at
800-795-2350. You may not be scheduled and tested until you have completed your
training. If a facility registers you for testing at their site, they will be
notified by Credentia of your test site and date within 48 hours of receipt of
your registration form or facility registration form.
Candidates scheduled to test at
permanent test sites will be mailed a confirmation letter to the address listed
on their application. It is the responsibility of the individual to contact Credentia
if the confirmation letter is NOT received within ten (10) business days of
submission. Credentia is NOT responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed mail
There are two parts to this
examination process-a skills examination and a written examination. All nurse
aide applicants must pass both examinations before being listed on the Nurse
In the skills examination, you
will be asked to perform five (5) randomly selected nurse aide skills. You will
be scored on these skills by a registered nurse evaluator. The skills are
listed in the nurse aide handbook which is available through Pearson VUE. The
written examination consists of fifty multiple choice questions written in
English. An overview of the written test subject matter can be found in the
handbook. Sample test questions are also provided. An oral test in English may
be substituted for the written test for those candidates who have difficulty
reading English. An oral test consists of fifty multiple choice questions that
are presented on cassette plus ten reading comprehension questions.
You are permitted three (3)
attempts by State and Federal regulations to pass both clinical skills and
written/oral competency evaluation tests. If you do not pass the clinical
skills and written/oral tests within two years after completing your nurse aide
training program, you are required to complete a new nurse aide training
program to be eligible to test again. If you do not report to the testing
location on the day of testing, you are considered a no-show which will count
as one of the three attempts to pass the test.
If you decide to take the oral
test in English, you must indicate choice of testing method on the test
registration form prior to submission to Credentia.
Test administration is arranged
by Credentia. Tests are administered at Pennsylvania nursing facilities or
training program sites as well as at permanent test sites across the state. The
permanent sites are listed in the handbood or may be obtained by calling
Credentia at (877) 437-9587.
Check with your instructor or
employer for more information on testing.
You MUST have the following items
with you when you take the examination:
1. two forms of
identification that have your signature; one piece of identification should
have your picture (examples: social security card, driver's license, credit
card, passport, alien registration card);
2. three No. 2
3. an eraser;
4. your social
5. watch with a
No other materials will be allowed.
For the Skills Test , the
allowable testing period is 30 minutes. If you have questions, ask the
evaluator before testing begins.
For the Written Test, the
administrator will hand out materials and give instructions for completing the
answer sheet. The administrator will read aloud a set of instructions for
taking the test. Your may take up to two hours to finish the test. You will be
told when fifteen minutes remain to complete the test. Complete your answer sheet
carefully. Put your answers on the answer sheet only; credit will not be given
for anything marked in the test booklet.
ADA Testing Accommodations
Pearson VUE certifies that it
shall comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 USCG
Section 12101 et.seq.) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended (42
U.S.C. Section 2000e et.seq.) in accommodating candidates who, because of a
disability, need special arrangements to enable them to take an examination. If
you need special arrangements for testing because of a disabling condition, you
may ask for special testing services. All examination sites have access for
candidates with disabilities.
Any candidate requesting special
testing arrangements due to impaired sensory, manual, speaking skills, or other
disability must submit a written request which includes name, address, and
social security number, the test date desired, test location, time of
examination, and a description of the special requirements.
This letter must be received by
Credentia along with your test registration material and must include:
1. proof of your
disability from your health provider and
2. a statement of
the type of help you need.
Nurse evaluators administering
the skills test will be prepared to meet the needs of nurse aides who have
This request must also include
supporting documentation from a physician or other qualified professional
reflecting a diagnosis of the condition and an explanation of the need for test
aids or modifications. Pearson VUE will provide auxiliary aids and services,
except where it may fundamentally alter the examination or results, or result
in an undue burden. An appointment for the examination will be scheduled upon
submission of all necessary information to Credentia at 3
Bala Plaza West Suite 400A Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.
Pearson VUE recommends, due to
the unique nature of each request for special arrangements and the types of
variables involved with testing (testing frequencies as permitted by state
licensing agencies and individual test center capabilities), that a candidate
requesting special services do so as much in advance of their desired test date
as possible. Concerted attempts to offer reasonable accommodations will be
Oral Test in English
A self-assessment reading test,
found in the handbook, may be used to help determine if it would be advisable
that you take the Oral English test. An oral test in English is available to
you upon request. You or your employer must notify Credentia at the time of registration
on your registration form.
The oral test in English consists
of fifty multiple choice questions that are presented orally on cassette tape
plus ten reading comprehension questions in which the nurse aide must identify
common job-related words.
If you give or take help from
anyone during testing, the test will end, and the incident will be reported to
the Pennsylvania Department of Aging for review. Your test will not be scored.
Anyone who takes or tries to take test material or information from the test
site will be prosecuted. No study materials may be brought to the test site or
used during testing including dictionaries in any language.
Fees are non-refundable and
non-transferable once submitted to Credentia. They cover administrative costs
incurred in processing and testing.
If for any reason you are unable
to attend a scheduled test, you must contact Credentia AT LEAST THREE BUSINESS
DAYS before the test date to reschedule your test. Saturday and Sunday are not
considered business days. If you do not contact DASHER at least three business
days in advance to reschedule an examination or fail to report for your
scheduled test date, your fee will NOT be refunded or transferred to a new test
date. Substitution candidates are not permitted.
To contact Credentia, please call
a Customer Service Representative at (877) 437-9587 Mon.
– Fri. 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone)
If your facility paid your
testing fee, it is highly recommended that you notify your facility after you
canceled your test date with Credentia.
Since unexpected situations
sometimes occur, Credentia will consider making an exception for a serious
illness or an emergency only if the request is submitted within 2 business days
prior to the scheduled test date or within 1 day after the scheduled
examination. You may be asked to provide evidence of the situation. Credentia's
decision regarding a cancellation waiver will be final. If your cancellation
request is valid, your fees will be refunded minus $15.00 processing fee per
There is no fee for rescheduling
a test date; however, you are only permitted to reschedule one time.
Refer to current Nurse Aide
Handbook, consult with a Credentia Customer Service Representative or your
employer if you need help to determine the proper fees.
According to the OBRA Rules and
Regulations, if you are currently employed in a nursing facility in
Pennsylvania , your employer must pay this fee. If you are not currently
employed in a nursing facility in Pennsylvania , you must pay this fee.
Acceptable forms of payment
include certified checks, company checks, company purchase orders, or money
orders. Personal checks will not be accepted unless you are a non-employed test
taker. Make check payable to "Pearson Vue". Cash will not be
Reimbursement for Nurse Aide
Joining and/or Testing
Long-term care nursing facilities
are responsible for the full payment of training and testing cost if your are
employed or offered employment as a nurse aide at the time you enter a nurse
aide training and competency evaluation program. Federal law prohibits these
charges from being imposed on you.
If you are not employed with a
long-term care facility at the time you are accepted into a nurse aide training
and competency evaluation program, but become employed or receive an offer of
employment within 12 months of completing the program, you will be reimbursed
by the long-term care facility that employs you.
Reimbursement will be made on a
pro rated basis. You will be reimbursed for half the cost of training and testing
after you have worked at the long-term care facility for 130 hours and the
remaining half of the training and testing cost after you have worked an
additional 130 hours. You must provide written documentation to the long-term
care facility to support your request for payment.
You will be told whether you have
passed or failed the skills test immediately after you take the test. The nurse
evaluator will discuss the skills test results with you. The nurse evaluator
and you must sign the skills test form. You will then be given your own copy of
the skills test results.
If you fail the skills test, you
may retake the test at a later date. The current fee for the skills part of the
test is required each time you retake the skills test.
An original, completed test
registration form must be submitted at the time of re-application. See test
scheduling process in the handbook for details.
After you take the written test,
the proctor will score your answer sheet and advise whether you have passed or
failed the written test. If you fail, you will get instructions on how to
reapply for that test on your score report. The current written test fee is
required each time you retake the written test.
An original, completed test
registration form must be submitted at the time of re-application.
When you pass both the skills and
written test, your name will be placed on the Pennsylvania Registry. The
Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has oversight responsibility of the
Registry and contracts with Pearson VUE to do day-to-day management. Pearson
VUE will mail you a registry card, and it should arrive approximately 4-6 weeks
after successfully completing the clinical skills and written/oral competency
evaluation examinations. In the interim your status may be checked on the
public registry website at https://pulseportal.com.
Do not make any changes to your
registry card. Any changes to the registry card could affect your status as a
If you are a nurse aide who is
currently listed on another state's nurse aide registry as active and in good
standing, according to Federal nursing home nurse aide statutes, and you are
seeking enrollment onto the Commonwealth of PA Nurse Aide Registry, you should
contact the Department of Health via Pearson VUE, PO Box 13785, Philadelphia,
PA 19101-3785. The reciprocity forms are also available at Pearson Vue Pennsylvania Nurse Aides.
Renewal of Continued Registry
The Department of Health will
mail a notification of continued enrollment on the nurse aide registry to the
home address of the nurse aide as listed on the registry approximately 90 days
prior to expiration. To be eligible for continued enrollment you are required
to work for pay as a nurse aide in a nursing environment such as a nursing
home, hospital or home health setting for at least eight hours during the
previous 24 months of enrollment. Self-employed or private duty experience is
not recognized as work experience for continued enrollment.
Upon successfully renewing your
enrollment status on the registry, you will be mailed a new registry card valid
for the next 24 months. It is imperative that your current address is always
listed on the nurse aide registry to ensure receipt of important documentation
regarding your enrollment.
Change of Address or Name
The Registry must be kept
informed of your current address.
If you change your address or
your name any time after you are placed on the Registry, you must inform the
Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry to keep your enrollment information
up-to-date. Please use the Change of Address or Name form at the back of the
handbook or access form on the website.
If you changed your name, you
must submit written documentation along with a Change of Address or Name form.
This documentation may be a copy of a marriage certificate, a divorce decree,
or another official document.
If you don't have a Change of
Address or Name form, you may send a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of
Health informing them of your old name or address, your new name or address,
your social security number, and your telephone number. There is no charge for
this service. If you want your registry card to have your new name, you must
contact Pearson VUE at the address or phone number listed previously.
Note: Under federal requirements,
enrollment is no longer valid for any individual who has had a lapse of 24
consecutive months or more in the performance of paid nursing-related services.
It is critical to update the employment history of all individuals on the nurse
aide Registry. You will receive notification at the home address listed on the
registry regarding continued enrollment. Failure to inform the registry may
jeopardize your enrollment status.
Lost Registry Cards
If you lose your registry card, you may receive
another copy by sending in the Duplicate Registry Card Request form in the back
of the handbook to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. There is no charge
for this service.