How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near Oro Valley Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Oro Valley AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in medical care within the United States. Although it may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's important that you pick the ideal program to obtain the appropriate 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 may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues along with various other questions that you should 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform 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 varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Oro Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Oro Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Oro Valley AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Oro Valley AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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. 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 an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Oro Valley 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Oro Valley AZ.