How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Juneau Alaska
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Juneau AK. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Although it might seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's essential that you pick the best program to obtain the proper training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before choosing 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 considered. We will be covering those subjects together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks 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. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Juneau AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. 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 the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check 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 judgements 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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 too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Training
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Juneau AK.