How to become a Home Health Aide in NYC

The health care industry is in constant need of qualified nursing assistants, but it is also swamped with a new crop of ambitious would-be’s each year. With the sea of faces growing by the minute, it is more important than ever to have credentials that distinguish you as more than a drop in an ocean.

In areas like New York City, the right certifications can be the leg up that lands you a foot in the door for home health aide work in NYC. But how can you make sure you’re following the right steps, instead of just burning a hole in your wallet?

Federal Requirements

A couple methods are available for anyone aspiring to get their foot in the door as a home health care professional:

Working through a federally funded hospital, or as a self employed Personal Care and Support Professional. The former option requires federally mandated training, also known as the National Licensing Program, as set up by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. Through this program, candidates in each state must complete a minimum of 75 hours of training, hands-on application with an experienced instructor, and a competency evaluation that covers a variety of important home health care topics.

After receiving the certification, CNA’s who receive employment within one year of the examination can receive, in some states, a full reimbursement for their training.

State Requirements For Home Health Aide Jobs In NYC :

New York State is currently one of the most successful areas to begin a career as a CNA, home health aide or otherwise.

Demand is high for Home Health Aide jobs in New York City, or as they call them, “Nurse Aides,” and with the high demand comes a competitive salary that rivals some of the higher paying states in the country. According to, New York CNA’s generally pull in around $28,000 a year, including benefits, which is high even in spite of the notoriously high cost of living. All in all, a New York state of mind is a good one for the home health aide.

While their process of getting certified meets all the minimum requirements required by the federal government, the state of New York requires a much higher number of training hours – a minimum of 100, with 70 classroom hours, and 30 of instructor work, as overseen by the New York State Department of Health.

Following this education period, a candidate for a CNA license is required to pass a test administered by Prometric that includes two parts- written examination and a demonstration of the tester’s skill set, all of which costs a total of $115. One unique bonus that Prometric provides is a wealth of practice tests and additional resources for a CNA prospective. Current CNA’s can also take advantage of these resources, to help keep their skills sharp, and to stay on top of the ever-changing trends in the industry.

Which is great, because the state also requires CNA certificates be renewed every two years, with evidence of a minimum eight hours of employment.

Additional perks come in the form of reimbursements. In New York City, if a CNA candidate finds work within the first year of finishing training, they receive partial repayment for both the training program and the testing fee. If they are under the employment of a nursing home at the time of the exam, the $115 examination fee is waived.

Home Health Aide Jobs In NYC: Private Duty Agencies

If you have decided in favor of working through a federally funded state hospital, the only way to go is through the Certified Nurses Assistant certification regulations set by the The National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

However, if you are looking more in the realm of self employment, there is another possible option. As of 2011, the Personal Care and Support Credential has been an option for any home health aide looking for certification on their own, and is provided by the Direct Care Alliance. Created to assist home health aides-to-be with a direct option for displaying their skills in critical aspects of the personal care industry, this 50 question test leads to the accolade of “Personal Care and Support Professional”, costs $140 to sign up for, and is passed by the vast majority of test takers on the first try.

It is also constantly undergoing improvements, thanks to a group of experienced health care professionals appointed by the Direct Care Alliance to keep the test fair, accurate, and updated.

This exam has not received approval by the federal government, or any of the 50 states’ health certification programs. A criticism has been that the title of Personal Care and Support Professional is best meant for health care professionals who are under the employ of private duty agencies, and not for anyone who is already currently employed by a federally funded health care program. Although it may be a useful credential for the self-employed, one must consider alternate options if they are seeking to expand their services elsewhere.

In Closing

With high demand for the position in almost every state, New York provides some of the best options in terms of pay rate and educational options. While the state may gain notoriety for a huge standard of living, the quality training programs and employment opportunities are certainly worth taking a closer look at in your quest for home health aide jobs in NYC.

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