How to Choose the Best CNA Program near East Florence Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near East Florence AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's important that you select the best school to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a program entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the East Florence AL hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in East Florence AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at East Florence AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in East Florence AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education and employment in the East Florence AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some East Florence AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the East Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local East Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in East Florence AL.