How to Enroll In the Best CNA Course near Florence Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Florence AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Although it might seem like a complicated task, it's essential that you choose the best course to receive the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Florence AL hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather 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 prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might 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 assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in 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 people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Florence AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 might be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Florence AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Florence AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Florence AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Florence AL.