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CNA Certification Training Classes Prescott AZ


How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Prescott Arizona

Prescott AZ Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's blood pressureNow 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 classes near Prescott AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Though it may seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you pick the ideal program to receive the appropriate 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 may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss 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

Prescott AZ Certified Nursing Assistant assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. 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 direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might 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 helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Prescott AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Prescott AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in 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 period of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Programs

Prescott AZ woman taking CNA online trainingEnrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Prescott AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations 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 hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Prescott AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check 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. Also, 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prescott AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Choose the Right Nurse Assistant School

Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prescott AZ.