How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Eagle River Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Eagle River AK. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Although it may seem like a challenging undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the best program to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Eagle River AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Eagle River AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Eagle River AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education and employment in the Eagle River AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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 completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Eagle River AK 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Eagle River AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Eagle River AK.