CNA Programs Near Me: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

CNA Programs

CNA Programs Near Me: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Learn what options exist for prospective Certified Nurse Aides and nursing assistants to get trained and certified in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Discover resources and programs to get trained by a CNA program locally. 

With all the uncertainty because of the pandemic facing the economy, you may be considering a career change. Entering the medical field as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) can be promising and rewarding. Plus, it can lead to a future healthcare career full of opportunity, promise, and advancement both personally and professionally. 

Being A Certified Nurse Aide, CNA, and Medical Field Job Growth

A career as a Certified Nurse Aide Is both stable and fast growing. This is especially comforting during difficult economic times and in light of COVID-19. Plus, we will go into detail about the variety of career path options for individuals that decide to become a CNA. Below you can find out how to get your certification as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) and take your career in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a new direction in healthcare.

What is healthcare and where do CNAs work in the field?

Healthcare includes a wide variety of medical services. CNAs are a part of the field of direct care workers like home health aides who assist patients with daily tasks. Certified Nurse Aides are able to provide limited medical care too. This care includes rehabilitation services after surgeries, among others. Certified Nurse Aides, or CNAs, are a part of the overall healthcare team that includes a variety of professional roles such as nurses, therapists, and doctors. CNAs work directly under the supervision of a licensed nurse. 

CNAs work primarily in long term care settings. However, CNAs also have the ability to work in a variety of medical settings, and they do. Among others, CNAs can find career opportunities and jobs in:

  • Assisted living facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Residential care facilities
  • Home care and home healthcare agencies

Certified Nurse Aides

Why is the healthcare field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania experiencing growth?

Healthcare is growing rapidly across America due to an aging population. Demand for healthcare services will only increase as the baby boomer population gets older. We discuss this growth below. As you will learn, the aging population in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is especially large in the region which drives demand locally. 

Unemployment and job losses in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The pandemic has been devastating to the job market in the United States. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been hit particularly hard. The area has an overall unemployment rate of 15.4 percent as of August 2020. Overall, that equates to more than one out of seven individuals in Philadelphia that are unemployed.

Careers in retail, restaurant, tourism, and other service industry jobs have suffered the most. These industries have faced many job losses both in Philadelphia and across the country. Many of the individuals currently or previously employed in those fields have decided to consider other career paths. Healthcare has been one of the most resilient. Not only is it a path towards a stable career, but it is also fulfilling and rewarding work. 

What are the job prospects and career outlook for CNAs and Certified Nurse Aides?

CNAs engage in rewarding work and gain valuable experience in this entry level healthcare role. Plus, starting as a CNA can eventually open many doors of advancement in the future. It can lead to all sorts of advanced healthcare roles and jobs. Many CNA’s climb the career and educational ladder over time. For example, they may become nurses, doctors, or therapists with time.

A career as a Certified Nurse Aide is projected to grow much faster than other jobs in America. The bureau of labor statistics projects an 8 percent increase in all CNA jobs in America through 2028, versus only a 5 percent increase in all professions as a whole. We mentioned the variety of settings that CNAs work in. Looking at the same projection, you will see that a CNA career classified as “Home health and personal care aides; and nursing assistants, orderlies, and psychiatric aide” jobs shows a 25 percent projected increase!

Amazingly, this growth in needed Certified Nurse Aides is even more prevalent in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. 

By the numbers: The direct care workforce, which includes Certified Nurse Aides, in Pennsylvania 

Consider the following statistics by the LTCC Blueprint for Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Direct Care Workforce. It demonstrates how large the direct care workforce is now in Pennsylvania and what the future looks like for these occupations. In addition, the facts help readers understand why local healthcare demand is growing so rapidly:

  • There are 219,000 direct care workers across Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia
  • The top three roles include home health aides, personal care aides, and CNA nursing assistants
  • Over 37,000 additional direct care workers will be needed across Pennsylvania by 2026
  • Pennsylvania has the fifth oldest population in the nation. Seniors and older adults are the most likely to utilize healthcare services such as those provided by CNAs
  • By 2030, the population of older adults will increase by 26 percent
  • Pennsylvania is also home to many disabled residents. Around one in seven individuals in Pennsylvania has a disability. 
  • Disabled residents are the other major group most likely to receive home healthcare. Pennsylvania is home to the fifth largest percentage of disabled residents in the nation at 14 percent. 

Read our recent article about five fast growing entry level healthcare careers, including CNAs.

CNA Certified Nurse Aide Careers and Job Duties

Certified Nurse Aide CNA Scope Of Practice 

Scope of practice is a legal term assigned to licensed health professionals. CNAs are not licensed health professionals, but are considered unlicensed assistive personnel. Therefore, CNAs do not have a regulated scope of practice. However, they do have professional standards and job responsibilities to which they must comply. CNAs are trained to provide a basic level of care to manage care needs. They also optimize quality of life for older or disabled adults. With no regulated scope of practice, many states recognize the Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR x 483) as the unofficial CNA scope of practice. This is true within Philadelphia and Pennsylvania as a whole. 

The regulations direct care-based decisions for residents in nursing facilities. Institutions that employ Certified Nurse Aides follow the code to ensure that they will be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Also, the same regulations are used to guide CNA training and to outline workplace duties. Specifically, the 42 CFR x 483 suggests that CNAs must be trained in how to provide basic nursing care and skills as outlined below.

What does a Certified Nurse Aide do?

The exact job duties and responsibilities of a CNA may vary somewhat. It depends on what care setting that a CNA is working in. Plus, it depends on the mental and physical health of the care recipients that they work with. However, there are five core CNA duties and responsibilities that a majority of CNA jobs require:

  1. CNAs provide assistance with a client’s activities of daily living. These are also referred to as ADLs.
  2. Responsibilities of a  CNA often involve simple meal preparations, passing out food trays, monitoring each care recipient’s food and drink intake at each meal, as well as light housekeeping.
  3. CNAs may be expected to take and monitor a care recipient’s vital signs. Examples include taking one’s pulse, blood pressure, oxygen, and temperature readings.
  4. Checking regularly on care recipients. This may include answering call bells, making a note of patient condition changes, and reporting any changes immediately to the nurse.
  5. CNAs might assist with specific medical procedures. They may be expected to set up, clean, or takedown medical equipment.

CNAs may do additional tasks or other tasks that vary from those listed above. This could be because of a specific population or condition that the healthcare setting specializes in, or because they offer advanced specialty training to their CNAs. 

What do Certified Nurse Aides make in pay and earnings?

Nationwide, the median annual salary (including salary plus other cash compensation) for CNAs is $32,366 per year. Overall, this equates to $15.56 per hour in earnings.

In Pennsylvania state, CNA salaries are comparable to the nationwide median. Statewide, HHAs average $32,302 per year, or $15.53 per hour in earnings and compensation. 

Finally, in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas (the tri-state area which includes parts of Delaware and New Jersey as well), the average wage is $34,671, or $16.67 per hour in payment and salary. 

CNA Programs for Training and Certification

How do I get trained to be a Certified Nurse Aide?  

To get trained as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), prospective CNAs must complete an approved training program. Training requirements are set out by federal and state requirements for Certified Nurse Aides. CNA training and certification programs are usually offered by community colleges and private schools. Several long term care facilities (nursing homes) also offer a CNA program. 

What does a Certified Nurse Aide learn in the training program?

A Certified Nurse Aide student in training will learn a lot of important tasks and skills in the CNA program. At CareBridge Academy, the CNA training program includes the following core competencies which are the foundation of Certified Nurse Aide training. They include:

  • CNA role and function
  • Communication 
  • Infection control
  • Safety and emergencies
  • Client’s rights
  • Client’s independence
  • Nutrition
  • Identifying and reporting the conditions of body systems
  • The client’s environment
  • Personal care skills
  • Restorative care
  • Behavioral health and social service needs
  • Caring for cognitively impared clients

As you can see, the CNA program covers a lot of material. In conjunction, the program curriculum helps Certified Nurse Aides find success in the various healthcare roles that they work in.

How long is a CNA training program?

A Certified Nurse Aide training and certification program must meet state regulations. In Pennsylvania, that means that a CNA training program must be at least 80 total hours in length. However, the state also has a model curriculum recommended for approved programs which runs 120 hours long. Most CNA programs, including that at CareBridge Academy, follow this model. 

Because of the amount of subject material, the 120 hour course is a better option that offers the greatest chance for CNAs to be successful in their positions. Of this 120 hours, 55 of those hours are completed in a long term care facility setting. This means that CNA students will work directly with real residents and clients of a nursing home setting. 

Can a CNA program be completed online?

Due to state regulations, CNA programs are unable to be completed online. All instruction must be done in person under an approved nurse trainer. 

How much does the CNA program cost for training?

The cost of the program can vary. CareBridge Academy has a CNA program that is very inexpensive at only $1395. The program is completed right here in Philadelphia. A CNA program can also be taken through other approved programs in the Philadelphia region. 

Can I get CNA training for free?

Yes! CNA students can get trained for free under the following conditions. 

If you get employed by a Medicaid participating nursing home facility, you are entitled to the reimbursement cost paid by the student for the CNA program. While you can check with the facility directly, the large majority of nursing homes are Medicaid participating facilities. This also includes the cost of certification testing fees as well. Requirements also include that the candidate graduates with:

  • Completion of at least 75 hours of an accredited CNA program. CareBridge Academy’s program qualifies under these regulations.
  • A passing score on your written and manual certification exam
  • Employment in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility within 12 months of certification
  • Pass a criminal background check at employment


To sum it up, when employees meet these conditions, they will get reimbursed for the full cost of the program ($1395), plus the cost of the test which leads to certification ($102). 

CareBridge Academy offers its premier CNA training program right in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. CareBridge Academy started a home health aide training program because it found a lack of affordable and comprehensive CNA programs in Philadelphia. Plus, with the CareBridge Academy program, classes are offered regularly and are flexible. These include day, night, weekend, and part-time CNA course offerings. 

CareBridge Academy Certified Nurse Aide Training Program Benefits

The CareBridge Academy CNA Training Program offers the best of both worlds. It’s CNA training program is inexpensive. Plus, the CNA certification obtained is very flexible. It is not restricted to just one company or one healthcare setting. CNA certification is valid across both Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. Plus, if a CNA moves out of state, those individuals can apply for CNA reciprocity in another state to obtain licensure elsewhere. 

Find out more about CareBridge Academy and our other course offerings which include home health aide training. Contact us today with questions or to learn more!

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