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Top 11 Home Health Aide Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top home health aide certifications available and their associated benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are an important part of the home health aide job market. They demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge to potential employers and can help set a person apart from other applicants. Having certification shows that the individual has taken the time to learn the necessary skills and is committed to providing quality care. Certifications also provide assurance to patients, families, and caregivers that their needs will be met by someone who is qualified and knowledgeable in the field. Additionally, certifications can provide employees with access to higher paying jobs or additional opportunities for career advancement.

This article reviews the top certifications for Home Health Aides and outlines how they can benefit a home health aide's career.

What are Home Health Aide Certifications?

Home health aide certification is a form of professional training and certification that prepares individuals to provide personal care services to elderly, disabled, or chronically ill patients in their own homes. Home health aides (HHAs) help clients with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting. They are also responsible for meal preparation, light housekeeping, errand running, and providing companionship.

Home health aide certification is a valuable asset in the healthcare profession. It provides HHAs with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to provide quality care to their clients while ensuring patient safety. Furthermore, it demonstrates an HHA’s commitment to excellence in their field and can serve as a key factor when seeking employment opportunities.

The certification process typically involves successfully completing a home health aide program through an accredited educational institution or other approved provider of home health aide training. Upon completion of the program requirements, an individual must pass an exam administered by their state or local licensing board in order to be officially certified as a home health aide.

In addition to providing HHAs with the necessary skills for providing quality care to clients at home, having a home health aide certification can also open up new job opportunities within the healthcare industry. With this credential in hand, HHAs may be eligible for higher pay rates than those without it because they have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their field. Additionally, employers often prefer candidates who have been certified due to the assurance that they have met certain standards set forth by their state or local licensing board regarding patient safety protocols and ethical practices.

Pro tip: Make sure you research the home health aide certification requirements for your particular state before you begin your certification process. Each state has different guidelines and regulations that must be met in order to become certified as a home health aide.

Related: What does a Home Health Aide do?

Top 11 Home Health Aide Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Home Health Aides today.

1. Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA)

A Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) is a professional who provides personal care and assistance to individuals in their homes. CHHAs are certified by the state to provide services such as bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, and companionship. They may also assist with medical tasks such as checking vital signs and administering medications.

The requirements for becoming a CHHA vary by state but typically include completing an approved training program and passing a competency exam. Training programs typically take around 75 hours of instruction and can be completed in person or online. The cost of training varies depending on the program but can range from $500-$1000.

In order to become certified, applicants must pass a competency exam administered by their state’s Department of Health or other regulatory body. The cost of the exam varies by state but generally ranges from $50-$100. Once certified, CHHAs must renew their certification every two years by completing additional continuing education credits or taking a refresher course.

Overall, becoming a Certified Home Health Aide requires completing an approved training program and passing a competency exam which can take up to several weeks to complete and cost up to $1000 in total fees.

2. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. They provide basic patient care, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding patients, taking vital signs, and helping with mobility. CNAs also provide emotional support to patients and families.

It typically takes about 8-12 weeks to become a CNA. To get certified, you must complete an approved CNA training program and pass the required state certification exam. Training programs are offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and some hospitals. The cost of the training program varies depending on where you take it but can range from $400-$1,500. Once you’ve completed your training and passed the exam, you will need to renew your certification every two years by completing continuing education courses or retaking the exam.

3. Home Health Aide Certification Program (HHACP)

Home Health Aide Certification Program (HHACP) is a program designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become certified home health aides. This certification is offered through accredited training programs and requires successful completion of an exam.

The length of the program varies depending on the individual’s prior experience and education, but typically takes between four to six weeks to complete. During this time, students will learn about topics such as patient care, safety procedures, infection control, medical terminology, nutrition and more.

To get started in the HHACP program, individuals must first find an accredited training program that meets their needs. These programs can be found online or through local community colleges or vocational schools. After enrolling in a program, students will need to complete all required coursework and pass a final exam before being certified.

The cost of the HHACP program varies depending on the provider and can range from $500-$1,000 or more for tuition and materials. Additionally, some states may require additional fees for licensing or certification exams.

4. National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA-C)

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA-C) is a certification program that recognizes the knowledge and skills of home health aides. The certification requires successful completion of an approved training program, passing a written exam, and demonstrating competency in providing care to clients.

It typically takes between four and eight weeks to complete the necessary training and obtain the CHHA-C certification. Training programs can be found through local community colleges, vocational schools, and other organizations offering home health aide classes. Upon completion of the training program, candidates must take a written exam administered by NAHC or an authorized testing center. The test consists of 100 multiple choice questions covering topics such as infection control, safety practices, nutrition, communication techniques, personal care services, mental health awareness, and more.

The cost to become certified varies depending on the organization providing the training and where you live. Generally speaking it costs anywhere from $500 - $1,000 USD to become certified. This cost includes tuition fees for the training program as well as fees associated with taking the written exam.

5. National Association of Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) Certified Nursing Assistant (CNAC)

The National Association of Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) Certified Nursing Assistant (CNAC) is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of competency in the provision of home care and hospice services. The CNAC certification is an important credential for those who are employed in home care and hospice settings, as it demonstrates their commitment to providing quality care and service to patients.

The CNAC certification requires successful completion of an approved training program that includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Upon successful completion of the training program, applicants must pass a written exam administered by the NAHC. The exam covers topics such as infection control, patient rights and responsibilities, communication skills, medical terminology, nutrition, safety and emergency procedures, legal issues related to home care and hospice services, professional ethics, and more.

The cost for the CNAC certification varies depending on the provider offering the course. Generally speaking, courses range from $300-$500 dollars depending on the length of the course. Most courses take around 40 hours to complete; however some may be longer or shorter depending on the provider’s curriculum.

To obtain your CNAC certification you must first complete an approved training program as mentioned above. Once you have completed your training you can apply for your certification through NAHC's website or by mail with all necessary documentation including proof of completion of your training program. After submitting your application you will receive notification within two weeks regarding your eligibility for testing or if additional information is needed before scheduling an exam date. Once scheduled you will need to pay a fee for taking the exam which is usually around $200 dollars plus any applicable taxes or fees associated with taking the test at a specific location.

Upon passing your exam you will receive your official NAHC Certified Nursing Assistant (CNAC) certificate which is valid for three years from the date of issuance. Renewal requirements include completing at least 12 hours of continuing education credits during each three-year period after initial certification was granted.

6. American Red Cross Home Health Aide Certification Program

The American Red Cross Home Health Aide Certification Program is a comprehensive program designed to train and certify individuals in the delivery of home health care services. This program is offered through the American Red Cross and provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become a certified home health aide.

The certification program consists of two parts: classroom instruction and clinical practice. The classroom portion of the program covers topics such as infection control, safety, nutrition, communication, personal care skills, and basic medical terminology. The clinical practice portion involves hands-on experience in providing home health care services under the supervision of a registered nurse or other qualified healthcare professional.

The entire certification program typically takes between four to eight weeks to complete depending on the individual’s availability for classes and clinical practice hours. To enroll in this program, individuals must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, pass an entrance exam (if required), complete an application form, pay any applicable fees, and provide proof of immunization status.

The cost for this certification program varies depending on location but typically ranges from $500-$1,000 USD for tuition fees plus any additional costs associated with textbooks and materials.

7. American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers

American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers is a certification course designed to teach healthcare professionals the skills necessary to recognize and respond to life-threatening emergencies. The course covers basic CPR techniques, airway management, and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). It also includes instruction on how to recognize signs of stroke, heart attack, and choking.

The BLS for Healthcare Providers Course typically takes 4-6 hours to complete. It can be taken in a classroom setting or online through an accredited provider.

The cost of the BLS for Healthcare Providers Course varies depending on the provider and location. Generally, it costs between $60-$80 USD for the classroom version of the course and around $35-$50 USD for the online version.

8. American Safety and Health Institute Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers

American Safety and Health Institute Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS) is a course designed to teach healthcare professionals the skills they need to respond to life-threatening emergencies. It covers topics such as adult, child and infant CPR, AED use, choking relief, and other basic life support techniques. The course also includes an introduction to automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

The BLS course typically takes about four hours to complete and can be taken in person or online. To take the course in person, you must find a provider that offers it. You can search for providers on the American Safety and Health Institute website. The cost of the BLS course varies depending on the provider, but it typically ranges from $50-$100.

To take the online version of the BLS course, you must register with an accredited provider like ProTrainings or ASHI Training Center. The cost of this version is usually around $30-$40.

Overall, American Safety and Health Institute Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers is a comprehensive training program that teaches healthcare professionals how to respond effectively in emergency situations involving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), AED usage, choking relief, and other basic life support techniques.

9. National Council on Aging Certified Senior Companion

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) Certified Senior Companion Program is a national program that provides training and certification to individuals who wish to become companions for seniors. The program helps to ensure that senior companions are providing quality care and support to seniors in need.

The program consists of an online training course and an in-person assessment. The online course covers topics such as communication, active listening, problem solving, safety awareness, and more. It typically takes about 8 hours to complete the course. After completing the course, participants must take an in-person assessment administered by a NCOA certified assessor. This assessment evaluates their skills and knowledge from the online training course.

To get certified as a Senior Companion through the NCOA program, you must be 18 years or older and have access to a computer with internet connection. You can register for the program by visiting the NCOA website and following the instructions provided. Once you have completed both parts of the program (the online training course and in-person assessment), you will receive your certificate of completion from NCOA.

The cost of becoming a Certified Senior Companion through NCOA varies depending on your location. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $50-$200 USD for both parts of the program combined (online training + in-person assessment).

10. National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Certified Professional Guardian

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Certified Professional Guardian (NAELA-CPG) is a certification program that recognizes individuals who have achieved the highest standards of professional excellence in the field of guardianship. The NAELA-CPG certification is intended to provide assurance to clients, families, and courts that certified professionals have met rigorous standards for knowledge and experience in guardianship practice.

It takes approximately six months to complete the process of becoming a NAELA-CPG. To become certified, applicants must meet specific requirements including: passing a written examination; completing an application form; submitting proof of education and training; providing evidence of professional experience; and demonstrating commitment to ethical practice.

To apply for the NAELA-CPG certification, applicants must submit an application fee of $250 and provide documentation verifying their qualifications. Applicants must also submit a copy of their state license or certificate if applicable, as well as proof of continuing education credits earned within the past two years.

Once all required documents are submitted, applicants will be notified if they have been accepted into the program. If accepted, applicants must successfully pass a written exam before being awarded the NAELA-CPG certification. The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics related to guardianship practice such as legal issues, ethics and best practices.

The cost associated with obtaining the NAELA-CPG certification includes an application fee ($250), exam fee ($125), and annual dues ($175).

11. National Council on Aging Certified Senior Advisor

The National Council on Aging Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) is a professional certification program designed to prepare professionals who work with older adults to better understand their needs and provide the best possible care. The CSA designation recognizes individuals who have met specific educational requirements and demonstrated their commitment to providing quality service to seniors.

It typically takes between three and six months to complete the CSA program, depending on the individual’s experience level and availability of courses. To become certified, individuals must complete an approved course of study, pass a competency-based examination, and adhere to a code of ethics.

The CSA program is offered through various universities, colleges, and organizations that specialize in senior care. The cost of the program varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $500-$1,000 for the entire course of study.

In addition to completing the coursework and passing the exam, applicants must also demonstrate at least two years of professional experience working with seniors or those in need of long-term care services. This requirement can be fulfilled through volunteer work or paid employment.

Do You Really Need a Home Health Aide Certificate?

Whether or not you need a home health aide certificate depends on the type of job you are looking for. Home health aides typically provide basic medical care and assistance to elderly, disabled, or chronically ill clients in their homes. This type of work requires specialized training and certification.

In some states, home health aides must have a state-issued certificate before they can be hired by an agency. In other states, employers may require their employees to obtain certification from a professional organization like the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). If your state does not require certification, it is still beneficial to become certified since it will give you more credibility when applying for jobs.

Furthermore, having a home health aide certificate can also increase your chances of getting hired because it shows employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job properly. It demonstrates that you have taken the time and effort to learn about various topics related to home health care such as nutrition, safety protocols, and infection control. Additionally, certifications can also help you maintain high levels of professional conduct while providing quality care to clients.

In conclusion, whether or not you need a home health aide certificate depends on where you live and what type of job you are looking for. However, even if your state does not require certification, obtaining one can still prove beneficial as it will demonstrate your commitment to providing quality care and give employers confidence in hiring you.

Related: Home Health Aide Resume Examples

FAQs About Home Health Aide Certifications

1. How do I become a certified home health aide?

Answer: To become a certified home health aide, you must complete an approved training program and pass the state-specific certification exam.

2. What types of skills are required for a home health aide certification?

Answer: Home health aides must possess both clinical and interpersonal skills. Clinical skills include basic nursing care, such as taking vital signs and assisting with activities of daily living. Interpersonal skills include communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

3. How long does it take to get a home health aide certification?

Answer: It typically takes about two months to complete the training requirements for becoming a certified home health aide. However, this can vary depending on the program chosen and individual learning speed.

4. Are there any age restrictions for getting a home health aide certification?

Answer: No, there are no age restrictions for getting a home health aide certification; however, most programs require students to be at least 18 years old before they can begin their training.

5. Is financial aid available for those seeking to become certified in home health care?

Answer: Yes, many states offer financial assistance for individuals pursuing their education in the field of home healthcare, including grants and student loans. Additionally, some employers may provide tuition reimbursement or other forms of financial aid to employees who wish to become certified in the field of home healthcare.