Students in Pennsylvania can pursue CNA education at 2-year community colleges throughout the state. An area university also provides a training program. These schools offer nursing assistant and nurse aide courses and certificate programs that consist of between six and 218 hours of study time. Students may be allowed to attend classes on a full- or part-time basis.
Community College of Allegheny County
This school, which enrolls about 20,000 students, is located in Pittsburgh. It offers a 168-hour Nurse Aide Training Program that provides instruction about patient rights, basic body systems, aging, restorative care and infection control. This program is also available on the school's campus in Boyce.
Community College of Beaver County
This community college, which is located in Monaca, offers a 6-credit-hour nurse aide certificate program. Students in this program learn how to bathe and feed patients, about body mechanics and how to take vital signs. The program's clinical experience occurs at a local long-term care facility.
Delaware County Community College
Delaware County Community College is located in Media and enrolls about 13,000 students. The school offers a 133-hour nursing assistant course. In addition to teaching nurse aide skills, this program provides instruction in conflict resolution, professionalism and problem solving.
Harrisburg Area Community College
Located in Harrisburg, this community college offers a 120-hour non-credit certificate program in nurse aide. Students in this program learn how to provide basic care to elderly patients. The school offers this intense training program at eight locations.
Lackawanna College is situated in Scranton. The school offers a 148-hour Nurse Aide Training Program that provides instruction in nutrition, common diseases, intervention strategies and death and dying.
Luzerne County Community College
Situated in Nanticoke, this community college offers a career training program in nurse aide. Classes in this 120-contact-hour program take about 15 sessions to complete and are available in the daytime and evenings.
Marywood University, which is located in Scranton offers a nurse aide training program through its Workforce Education Department. Topics of instruction in this program include basic nursing skills, infection control and communication.
Northampton County Area Community College
Northampton County Area Community College is located in Bethlehem and enrolls about 11,000 students. The school offers a 128-hour nurse aide program that is available on both a full- and part-time basis. In addition to a clinical experience, the program's curriculum includes labs and lectures.
Westmoreland County Community College
This school, which enrolls about 7,000 students, is located in Youngwood. It offers a 128-contact-hour nurse aide program. Courses in this program are available in the daytime and evenings on the college's campuses in Youngwood, Greene and Indiana counties. Students in the program learn the skills necessary to work in a long-term care facility.
Pennsylvania requires that nurse aides complete a training program, pass written and skill exams and be listed on a registry prior to working. The state's department of health has approved nurse aide training programs in all 67 of Pennsylvania's counties. This article provides information about the nine largest community colleges in the state that offer approved training programs. Each of these programs includes a clinical experience and prepares graduates to sit for the Pennsylvania Nurse Aide Competency Exam, passage of which is required to be listed on the state's nurse aide registry. Included below is a table that lists the tuition rates of each school.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Nurse Aide Training Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees or Program Cost (2018-2019)|
|Community College of Allegheny County||2-year, public; large city*||Nurse Aide Training Program||$4,315 for in-district, $7,861 for in-state and $11,251 for out-of-state students*|
|Community College of Beaver County||2-year, public; large suburb*||Nurse aide certificate program||$5,970 for in-district, $11,430 for in-state and $16,890 for out-of-state students*|
|Delaware County Community College||2-year, public; large suburb*||Nursing assistant course||$1,169 for sponsoring school district students and $1,913 for non-sponsoring school district students (tuition and fees)**|
|Harrisburg Area Community College||2-year, public; small city*||Nurse aide non-credit certificate course||$6,683 for in-district, $7,935 for in-state and $9,435 for out-of-state students*|
|Lackawanna College||2-year, private not-for-profit; small city*||Nurse Aide Training Program||$15,660*|
|Luzerne County Community College||2-year, public; large suburb*||Nurse aide career training program||$5,430 in-district, $9,660 in-state, $13,890 out-of-state*|
|Marywood University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city*||Nurse aide training program||$2,100 program cost **|
|Northampton County Area Community College||2-year, public; large suburb*||Nurse Aide Program||$1,100 program cost**|
|Westmoreland County Community College||2-year, public; large suburb*||Nurse Aide Program||$881 program cost**|
Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics; **School websites.