How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Prescott Valley AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's important that you pick the right program to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those topics as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. 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 guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Prescott Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Prescott Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Prescott Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Prescott 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 criteria 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional 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 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Prescott 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare 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 environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain 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 Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 certified nursing assistant in Prescott Valley AZ.