How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Assistant Course near Marana Arizona
Now that 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 training classes near Marana AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the United States. Though it may seem like a complicated task, it's important that you choose the ideal program to acquire the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a program requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Marana AZ hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Marana AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to 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 Marana AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the course 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Marana AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. 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 college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona 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 already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Marana AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Marana AZ 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 considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Marana AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Marana AZ.