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How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near Hoover Alabama

Hoover AL Nursing Assistant taking man's vital signsNow that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Hoover AL. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the United States. Although it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's important that you pick the ideal school to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a school entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects 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 instruction and credentials that are available.

The Role of a Nursing Assistant

Hoover AL Certified Nursing Assistant greeting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Hoover AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Administering basic care to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs may also practice in Hoover AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Hoover AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the training course is state certified. 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 Classes

Hoover AL woman attending CNA online trainingAttending CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Hoover AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

What to Ask CNA Training Classes

Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Hoover AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Hoover 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 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Hoover AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Hoover AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Right Nurse Assistant School

Hoover AL CNA with nursing home residentSelecting the ideal certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Hoover AL.