How to Find the Best Nursing Assistant College near Juneau Alaska
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Juneau AK. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's important that you select the best school to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a training course requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with a few other questions that you should 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 type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Juneau AK hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Juneau AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with 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 certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. 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 many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Juneau 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 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate 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 Juneau AK.