How to Select the Right Nursing Assistant School near Marana Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Marana AZ. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in health care within the United States. Although it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you choose the best program to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a school 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 covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Marana AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. 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 main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might 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 defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing 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 instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Marana AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Marana AZ. Many 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 facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Marana AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are looking at 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 Marana AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Marana AZ.