How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant Training Program near Eagle River Alaska
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Eagle River AK. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a daunting task, it's important that you pick the best school to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Eagle River AK hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision 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 duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Eagle River AK 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 aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Eagle River AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Eagle River AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Eagle River AK area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Eagle River AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are looking at 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 good reputation within the Eagle River AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Eagle River AK.