How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant College near Prescott Valley Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Prescott Valley AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing positions in health care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's important that you pick the right course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a program requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Prescott Valley 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 instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous 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 aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Prescott Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to 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 program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 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 Programs
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Prescott Valley AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education and employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 call 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 looking at 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA Training
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prescott Valley AZ.