HOME >> ALABAMA >> MADISON >> CNA COURSES


CNA Certification Training Classes Madison AL


How to Enroll In the Best CNA College near Madison Alabama

Madison AL Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsOnce 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 programs near Madison AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a difficult undertaking, it's important that you pick the best course to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a program involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Job of a CNA

Madison AL CNA helping man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Madison AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:

  • Furnishing basic services to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Madison AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Madison AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip 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 may be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Classes

Madison AL student taking online CNA coursesAttending CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Madison AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 work and household obligations have left you with little 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.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs

Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.

  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Madison AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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.  Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Madison 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 colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Madison AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually 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 Madison AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Best CNA Training

Madison AL Nursing Assistant with nursing home patientEnrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Madison AL.