How to Find the Right CNA College near Juneau Alaska
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Juneau AK. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the United States. Although it may seem like a daunting task, it's essential that you pick the best school to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a program consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Juneau AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare 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 guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Juneau AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip 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 other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other 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). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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 performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 favorable reputation within the Juneau AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Juneau AK.