Here’s an easy-to-follow infographic on how to be a HHA in New Jersey.
In order to receive your home health aide certificate in New Jersey you need to follow their specific home health aide education requirements.
[In New Jersey a HHA is referred to as a “certified homemaker-home health aide”, or CHHA.]
[Non certified home aides cannot be employed by a Medicare-certified home health agency.]
It certainly is not complicated at all to get your certification to be a homemaker-home health aide in New Jersey.
But, you want to make sure you head down the right path and stay focused.
The last thing you want to do is go through your training and testing then find out you missed a step and have to either wait longer or spend more money – or both!
Follow the steps outlined below in order to stay on track – you can do this!
Satisfactorily Complete a CHHA Training Program
In New Jersey a HHA is referred to as a “certified homemaker-home health aide”.
Home health aide training in New Jersey is in accordance with Part 484 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR) and Title 13 (Chapter 37) of the New Jersey Administrative Code.
But you really don’t need to get bogged down in these “codes”; what they do is outline, in very specific details, what it takes to be a homemaker-home health aide in New Jersey.
They are tough to read – which is why they are summarized here…
- The CHHA training program can be provided by a home health agency or an educational institution that has been approved by the New Jersey State Department of Education or the Commission of Higher Education.
- CHHA training programs must consist of at least 76 hours and has to include 60 hours of classroom instruction and 16 hours of clinical instruction in a skills laboratory or patient care setting
CHHA Training Programs in New Jersey
A homemaker-home health aide training program may be conducted by
- a home care agency licensed by the Division of Consumer Affairs
- a home health 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
- a home care agency accredited by an independent national or state accrediting body
Keep in mind that, despite who provides the training, the program needs to be approved by the Board of Nursing.
New Jersey home health agencies are regulated by, and need to be registered with, the Division of Consumer Affairs. Agency accreditation is required to be registered. The aides are regulated by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.
The applicant needs to complete the training program no later than four (4) months after starting the program.
Contents of Your New Jersey CHHA Training
Home health aide training programs need to clearly state its goals and objectives and must include measurable performance criteria.
New Jersey’s CHHA curriculum is fairly typical of most states.
The curriculum must include the content outlined below:
- role of unlicensed assistive personnel in nursing care settings
- working with people
- safe client environment
- musculoskeletal system
- integumentary system
- upper gastrointestinal system
- lower gastrointestinal system
- urinary system
- cardiovascular and respiratory systems
- neurological system
- endocrine system
- reproductive system
- immune system
- rest and sleep
- death and dying
The training staff may exercise discretion in determining the amount of time required to adequately teach each subject area.
But keep mind the minimum training time required must be met for each subject area and the training hours must total a minimum of 76 hours.
Pass The Competency Evaluation Examination
You’re almost there – to getting your home health aide certification to work in New Jersey!
- You must register for the next scheduled administration of the exam (administered by the Board or a Board-approved testing service); offered at least four times a year
- You may be employed by a home health care agency under the supervision of a registered professional nurse while waiting to take the next scheduled administration of the competency examination.
- Did you fail? Applicants can retake the test as long as you register for the next scheduled exam. (You can still be employed by a home health care agency.)
- If you fail a second time then you need to complete another CHHA training program AND you cannot work as a homemaker-home health aide until you pass the examination.
Competency Exam By Itself
It is possible to jump ahead of the class (skip altogether) and take the competency evaluation program only.
Current nursing students who have completed the fundamentals of nursing may take the competency examination without first completing an approved training program.
Submit Your Application For CHHA Certification To The New Jersey Board of Nursing
The New Jersey Board of Nursing changed the HHA filing process a little in 2014.
The Board of Nursing requires each home health aide who completes a HHA training program submit their application to the Board of Nursing.
You submit: proof of satisfactorily completing the CHHA training program as well as the competency evaluation; a completed Criminal History Certification of Authorization form; proof that you are employed, or will be employed, by a home health agency; application fee and initial certification fee.
Here’s the new way to receive your homemaker home health aide (CHHA) certification in New Jersey:
- complete your CHHA training
- agency that trained you will send the Board of Nursing a listing of all those who graduated
- they’ll also send an individual letter stating that you have graduated
- you submit a “Application to Become a Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aide” to the Board of Nursing
- Board of Nursing will review and contact you if they need anything else and of your acceptance / denial
Getting Your New Jersey HHA Certificate
Well, you’ve studied, gone to all your classes, worked in a clinical setting, taken the CHHA test and passed with flying colors!
The Board will issue a “conditional” certification upon receiving all of the above; this conditional certification is valid for up to 120 days; once the Board receives the results of a criminal history background check that show no record they will issue a homemaker-home health aide certificate.
You are now a certified homemaker-home health aide in the Garden State.[Your certification needs to be renewed every two years.]
Earn More as a CHHA in New Jersey
So you’re on the way to a fantastic and rewarding career as a homemaker-home health aide.
You will soon want to look into advancing in the field, usually to make more money!
But, there could be other reasons as well to move ahead as a CHHA.
Could be more money, get your nursing degree, manage people, run your own home health aide agency!
Several ways to make more money as a home health aide in NJ
Invest in Yourself: Take the time to improve your skills. How about a CPR class, another language, human anatomy class, etc.?
Never Say “No”: Take advantage of when others cannot work. Raise your hand when folks take vacations or need time off for personal matters.
Smiles Everyone: Have a positive and winning attitude. You’ll be the obvious choice when your RN needs someone to fill in for a shift or even promote within the agency.
Spread The Wealth: It’s still a free country… and you can work for whomever you want. Apply to work for another home health agency – you can work for more than one and pick up extra shifts. Demand for HHA’s in New Jersey is staggering – see what else is out there.
New Jersey HHA Resources
- Medicare has a website (Home Health Compare) that allows you to search for home health agencies and see which ones are Medicare certified.
- Here's a great booklet about HHA job training from the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Valley Health System is a fantastic resource for all-things healthcare related in New Jersey; information for certified home health aides can be found here
- Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNA Health Group) has great information about all sorts of in-home care; check out their Patient Stories!
- Visiting Homemaker Service of Hudson County (VHS) serves the Hudson Valley area; has a staff that’s been with them for, on average, fifteen years.
- E&S Academy is a top-rated vocational school in New Jersey and offers lots of certification programs – including those for home health aides.