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A nursing assistant career can serve as a gateway into Pennsylvania’s nursing industry. As the most junior nursing care provider, nursing assistants work alongside more experienced licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs). They can gain valuable exposure and understanding of the healthcare industry before deciding whether or not to further their career in the nursing profession.

Nursing assistants and the workplace
Certified nursing assistant (CNA) programs prepare candidates for a competitive career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 74,520 practicing nursing assistants in Pennsylvania, earning an average of $23,650 to $31,090 per year. Qualified nursing assistants are well-equipped to work in one of Pennsylvania’s many healthcare institutions, including Philadelphia State Hospital, The Children’s Institute, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

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How to become a certified nursing assistant
Nursing assistant candidates must complete a CNA program, which is the basic license required to practice as a healthcare professional in Pennsylvania. These programs are often brief, usually running eight to ten weeks and providing a flexible and simple entry into the field of nursing. Certified nursing assistants often pursue higher certifications at a later date, enabling them to practice as a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, or advanced practice registered nurse. These programs are more comprehensive and may take one to several years to complete.

Pennsylvania has numerous institutions that prepare potential nursing assistants with the experience, confidence, and ability to contribute to Pennsylvania’s healthcare system. Four of the state’s most prominent CNA programs are offered at Berks Technical Institute, Everest Institute, Commonwealth Technical Institute, and Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology.

Below is a more comprehensive list of the best nursing assistant programs in Pennsylvania, organized by major metropolitan area.

Featured Schools

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Erie

Great Lakes Institute of Technology
5100 Peach Street | Erie, Pennsylvania 16509
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
School Address Programs offered
Great Lakes Institute of Technology 5100 Peach Street
Erie, Pennsylvania 16509
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate

Philadelphia metro area

Antonelli Medical and Professional Institute
1700 Industrial Highway, Lower Level | Pottstown, Pennsylvania 19464
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
School Address Programs offered
Antonelli Medical and Professional Institute 1700 Industrial Highway, Lower Level
Pottstown, Pennsylvania 19464
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate

Pittsburgh

Forbes Road Career and Technology Center
607 Beatty Road | Monroeville, Pennsylvania 15146
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Pittsburgh Technical College
1111 McKee Road | Oakdale, Pennsylvania 15071
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
School Address Programs offered
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center 607 Beatty Road
Monroeville, Pennsylvania 15146
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Pittsburgh Technical College 1111 McKee Road
Oakdale, Pennsylvania 15071
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate

Reading

Berks Technical Institute
2205 Ridgewood Road | Wyomissing, Pennsylvania 19610
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
School Address Programs offered
Berks Technical Institute 2205 Ridgewood Road
Wyomissing, Pennsylvania 19610
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate

Other Pennsylvania cities

Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology
540 North Harrison Road | Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania 16823
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Commonwealth Technical Institute
727 Goucher Street | Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15905
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center
1500 Fourth Avenue | Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Schuylkill Technology Center
101 Technology Drive | Frackville, Pennsylvania 17931
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
School Address Programs offered
Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology 540 North Harrison Road
Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania 16823
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Commonwealth Technical Institute 727 Goucher Street
Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15905
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center 1500 Fourth Avenue
Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Schuylkill Technology Center 101 Technology Drive
Frackville, Pennsylvania 17931
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate