How to Enroll In the Best CNA Course near Prescott Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Prescott Valley AZ. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you select the best course to receive the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Prescott Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most 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 commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Prescott Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the training is state approved. As well as 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.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Prescott Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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. Some 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 excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Prescott Valley 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prescott Valley AZ.