Home Health Aide Training in New Jersey

New Jersey Quick Facts:

Training Hours Required:

76

Salary

$23,230

Employment

38,510

If you’re looking to start home health aide training in New Jersey, you’re in good company.

With one of the highest concentrations of home health care jobs available and one of the top paying metropolitan areas for HHA jobs in the country, you will be putting your training to good use in no time.

What are home health aides called in New Jersey?

The job title of a home health aide in the state of New Jersey is a little different than the rest of the country. They refer to their home health aides as Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides, or CHHA for short.

Agencies that employ certified home health aides (CHHA) are regulated by the Division of Consumer Affairs, while the CHHAs themselves are regulated by New Jersey’s Board of Nursing.

Basic Entrance Requirements for Training Programs

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old
  • US citizenship or qualified legal alien status
  • Government issued photo ID and social security card
  • Non-citizens must provide proof of eligibility to work in the US
  • Ability to physically participate in class for tasks related to patient care
  • Ability to read, write, and speak in English proficiently
  • Ability to attend 100% of scheduled classes

The Department of Nursing specifies additional requirements to gain official certification. Before signing up for any certified home health aide training programs, be sure you are able to provide the following:

  • “A home health care agency licensed by the Division of Consumer Affairs,
  • A home health care agency or hospital licensed by the Department of Health,
  • An educational institution approved by the New Jersey State Department of Education or the Department of Higher Education, or
  • A home health care agency accredited by an independent national or state accrediting body.”

How to Become a Home Health Aide in New Jersey

1. Complete Training Requirements in New Jersey

The New Jersey home health program must be a minimum of 76 hours of training and include:

  • 60 hours of classroom instruction
  • 16 hours of instruction in a laboratory or patient care setting under the supervision of a registered professional nurse
  • 30:1 student to instructor ratio in the classroom
  • 10:1 student to registered professional nurse ratio in the lab

Formal training in an approved program must be completed at one of the following:

  • “A home health care agency licensed by the Division of Consumer Affairs,
  • A home health care agency or hospital licensed by the Department of Health,
  • An educational institution approved by the New Jersey State Department of Education or the Department of Higher Education, or
  • A home health care agency accredited by an independent national or state accrediting body.”

CHHA Training Curriculum

A variety of topics will be covered in your classes in order to prepare you for the final examination.

Subject areas will include:

  1. The role of unlicensed assistive personnel in nursing care settings
  2. Foundations for working with people
  3. Foundations for a safe client environment
  4. The musculoskeletal system
  5. The integumentary system
  6. The upper gastrointestinal system
  7. The lower gastrointestinal system
  8. The urinary system
  9. The cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  10. Neurological system
  11. The endocrine system
  12. The reproductive system
  13. The immune system
  14. Rest and sleep
  15. Death and dying

2. Complete Final Test and Competency Exam

The NJ Board of Nursing lays out some clear rules for successfully completing the final exam.

They state:

  • Students must register for the next scheduled competency evaluation, available at least four times per year, administered by either a Board-approved testing service or the Board itself.
  • The Board annually reviews and establishes the acceptable passing score (currently set at a score of 80%).
  • After completing an approved program, students may be employed by a home care agency under the supervision of a registered professional nurse as they wait to take their scheduled competency evaluation.
  • Students can attempt the exam twice. After a second failed attempt, students must retake an approved Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aide training program and may not continue working as a Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aide until the exam is successfully completed.
  • Students may also satisfy the exam requirement by successfully completing an oral evaluation in either English or Spanish.

3. Submit Application for Certification

The process for applying for your home health aide certification is involved, but well laid out by the NJ Board of Nursing.

You will want to be sure to follow their instructions exactly, and contact them directly with any questions before submitting your application to ensure it is completed correctly.

It is important to note that the Board no longer accepts what they referred to as “Eligibility Lists” from CHHA program coordinators for students who are eligible to apply for certification.

Instead, the Board requires that each student submits his or her own paperwork and supporting documentation individually.

This means you cannot simply rely on your CHHA training program to take care of the certification for you! Your instructors and program coordinators will surely support and assist you, but you are responsible for completing the process.

The Board very clearly explains each step. The packet you submit must include:

  • “A notarized application for certification;
  • A 2” x 2” color passport photo;
  • A copy of your birth certificate (English translation, if applicable);
  • Proof of legal name change, if applicable;
  • Immigration documents, if applicable;
  • Criminal history documents, if applicable;
  • A signed promise of employment on official company letterhead from any agency approved to employ certified home health aides (certified home health aides can only work under the supervision of an RN, they cannot work as independent contractors);
  • and Applicable fees in the form of a certified check or money order.”

If your application attests that you have not been convicted of any “disqualifying crimes,” the Board will issue what they call a “conditional certification,” good for 120 days, pending the results of your criminal background check.

Your official certification is issued once the background check results are received by the Board.

If your application attests that you have been convicted of a “disqualifying crime,” a conditional certification is not issued and additional paperwork or documentation may need to be submitted to the Board for review before official certification can be issued.

Be sure to keep in mind: Your certification requires renewal every two years, and applications for renewal must be received by the Board no later than 30 days prior to the certification expiration date.

Do I have to complete a training program to apply for certification?

Not necessarily. You may be eligible to skip all or part of a CHHA training program and complete a competency evaluation only if you have one of the following:

  • A certification as a nurse aide as determined by the Department of Health, or
  • Have successful completion of a clinical nursing course

Be sure to keep in mind: Regardless of your training path, any qualifying education you receive must be within six months of the application you submit to the Board for certification. Questions about your eligibility for the competency evaluation only can be directed to the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

What if I have my HHA certificate from another state?

You could receive your “certification by reciprocity!”  You may be eligible to receive your CHHA certification in New Jersey if you:

  • Can provide proof of passing education, training, and examination requirements similar to those in NJ, and
  • Were an active HHA for at least 6 months any time in the five years prior to the application date submitted to the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

The Board will review background information and ensure your HHA certification in any other state is in good standing.  You will need to contact the Board directly to inquire about having your credentials transferred.

What about online classes?

Visit Sunlight Care’s website for more information about their certified home health aide training online.

Contact Information

New Jersey Board of Nursing
: Homemaker-Home Health Aide Department
P.O. Box 47030
Newark, NJ 07101

Ph: (973) 504-6430
Fax: (973) 648-6914
Email: NJHHA@dca.lps.state.nj.us
Web: njconsumeraffairs.gov