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.
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.
- You are a nurse aide on another state’s nurse aide registry, but your status has lapsed because you have not worked for at least 24 consecutive months.
- You are a temporary nurse aide and have completed a Nurse Aide Attestation Form and intend to sit for the PA nurse aide examination.
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. For more information visit Pennsylvania | Credentia.
Testing Scheduling Process
Complete the registration form by following the instructions on the application.Testing is scheduled through your CNA365 account. If you have questions you may call:
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. EST
Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST
You may not be scheduled and tested until you have completed your training. You can self register for your exams by accessing your CNA365 account from the login screen on the Credentia PA webpage Pennsylvania | Credentia.
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 Aide Registry.
You may take Written (or English Oral) examination either online or at a test center. Skills Evaluations are only offered at a test center. The Written Examination consists of seventy (70) multiple-choice questions written in English. An English Oral Examination may be taken in place of the Written Examination if you have difficulty reading English. The Oral Examination consists of sixty (60) multiple-choice questions plus ten (10) reading comprehension/word recognition questions. If you want to take the English Oral Examination, you must select it when you schedule your exam on CNA365 . For the Skills Evaluation you will be asked to perform five (5) randomly selected nurse aide skills. You will be rated on these skills by a Nurse Evaluator.
You are permitted three 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 test on the day and time of testing, you are considered a no-show which will count as one of the three attempts to pass the test.
Test administration is arranged by Credentia. Test Center exams are administered at Pennsylvania nursing facilities or training program sites as well as at permanent test sites across the state. The permanent sites on the Credentia PA webpage Pennsylvania | Credentia.
Check with your instructor or employer for more information on testing.
You MUST have the following items with you when you take the examination (see the PA NNAAP Candidate Handbook for a complete list of accepted identification):
- 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);
- three No. 2 pencils;
- an eraser;
- your social security number;
- watch with a second hand.
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 read aloud a set of instructions for taking the test. You may take up to two hours to finish the test. Select your answers carefully. For test center exams, markings in the test booklet will not be accepted as answers. Your answers must appear on the separate answer sheet. For on-line proctored exams you will select your answer on the computer screen.
ADA Testing Accommodations
Credentia complies with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended. The purpose of accommodations is to provide candidates with full access to the test. Accommodations are not a guarantee of improved performance or test completion. Credentia provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations to individuals with documented disabilities who demonstrate a need for accommodations.
Test accommodations may include things such as:
- A separate testing room
- Extra testing time
- A Reader or Recorder, for individuals with mobility, hearing, or vision impairments and cannot read or write on their own
- Test accommodations are individualized and considered on a case-by-case basis. All candidates who are requesting accommodations because of a disability must provide appropriate documentation of their condition and how it is expected to affect their ability to take the test under standard conditions.
This may include:
- Supporting documentation from the professional who diagnosed the condition, including the credentials that qualify the professional to make this diagnosis
- A description of past accommodations the candidate has received
- Please visit www.credentia.com/accommodations full details on the accommodations process and required supporting documentation.
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 50 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 be scored as a fail and count as an attempt. Anyone who takes or tries to take test material or information from the testsite will be prosecuted. No study materials may be brought to the test site or used during testing including dictionaries in any language.
You may cancel or reschedule an examination online in your CNA365 account. For details on how to cancel or reschedule an examination, visit www.credentia.com/testtakers/pa and click on "How to Cancel or Reschedule an Exam" in the Resources section of the webpage.
Online Written (or Oral) examinations must be canceled or rescheduled at least 48 hours before the scheduled examination time.
Test center examinations must be canceled or rescheduled at least nine (9) business days before the scheduled examination date (Saturday and Sunday and national holidays are not considered business days).
If you do not cancel or reschedule your examination within the required timeframes detailed and do not show up for your scheduled examination, you will be responsible for the examination fee. Your fee will not be refunded and cannot be transferred to a new examination date, and you may not give your examination date to another person. If you do not report to an examination at your scheduled time, you will be considered a "no-show" and fees paid will be forfeited. An un-excused absence will also count as one of your 3 "opportunities" to pass the exam.
Once payment of exam fees is received, NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED.
Candidates who are late or absent from an exam may call Credentia within 14 days of the exam date to request an excused absence for the following reasons:
- Illness of yourself or a member of your immediate family
- Death in the family
- Disabling traffic accident
- Court appearance or jury duty
- Military duty
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. Exams are paid for online by credit card or prepaid voucher when scheduling.
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 receive a notification email from CNA365 when a new exam score has been posted to your online account. To access your score report, please login to your CNA365 account by clicking the “CNA365 Login” button on the top of the Pennsylvania nurse aide website page at www.credentia.com/test-takers/pa. Score reports are generally available within a few hours after a testing event is completed for the day. If it has been more than 24 hours and you are unable to view your score report in CNA365, please contact customer service at 800-457-6752.
Credentia will provide you with your official examination results within a few hours after a testing event is completed for the day. Score reports are provided online and are available for you to print or download. Examinations results will not be given over the telephone nor can they be sent by Credentia to your employer.
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 Credentia to do day-to-day management. Upon successfully renewing your status on the Registry, you will receive an electronic Registry Card by email and Credentia will also mail a new Registry Card (also known as a Notice of Enrollment), which will be valid for the next twenty-four (24) months. It is important that your current address is always listed on the Nurse Aide Registry to ensure that you get important documentation regarding your enrollment.
If you are a nurse aide currently listed on another state’s nurse aide (or equivalent) registry as active and in good standing (according to federal nursing home nurse aide statutes), and you are seeking enrollment on the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Registry, you will need to submit a reciprocity application. Visit www.credentia.com/testtakers/pa for further information including specific steps on how to create a CNA365 online account and submit a reciprocity application.
Renewal of Continued Registry Enrollment Process
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.
Credentia’s CNA365 system allows for an online registration renewal process. CNA365 allows individuals to:
- Renew their nurse aide registration
- Update their address (during and outside the renewal registration process)
- Initiate name and social security number changes
For detailed instructions how to renew online, visit www.credentia.com/test-takers/pa and select “How to Renew Your Registration” in the Nurse Aide Registry Resource section of the webpage.
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.
To change your address or name, login to your CNA365 account and select "Manage Profile". Then select the "Edit Profile" button to change your address. If you need to change your name or Social Security Number (SSN), you will need to select the "Correction Form" button to submit a change request for Credentia review. You must upload written documentation (copy of a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, or another official document) to support your name change or SSN request.
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 (also known as a Notice of Enrollment), you can login to your CNA365 account to download an electronic Registry Card. If you would like a paper copy of your Registry Card, you may submit a Duplicate Registry Card request online in your CNA365 account.