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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 8, 2023 11:45 AM
From: Senator Judy Ward and Sen. Maria Collett
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation Allowing CNAs to Pursue Medication Administration Certification
Like too many aspects of Pennsylvania’s health care industry, long-term care faces a workforce crisis, as providers have experienced considerable difficulty in recruiting and retaining qualified staff to care for Pennsylvania’s seniors. One solution is to increase career growth opportunities for those who are currently working as certified nurse aides (CNAs). 
In both personal care and assisted living communities, staff personnel who have completed a certified medication administration program established by the State Department of Health are authorized to administer prescribed medication to residents. However, the same certification is not available to CNAs in the skilled nursing setting.  
This legislation amends the Health Care Facilities Act by adding the position of Certified Medication Aide. Under the bill, the Department of Health will establish a medication aide training program that includes a minimum of eight hours of classroom training. The training must be conducted by an approved trainer and utilize the state-approved written curriculum and examination. It also requires certification renewal every 24 months.
Providing CNAs the opportunity to seek this additional certification will allow for career growth and development for dedicated health care professionals in the field. It will also help improve patient care and quality outcomes. 
This legislation is supported by Pennsylvania Health Care Association and LeadingAge PA. 
We hope you will join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB668