How to Find the Right CNA Classes near Bentonville Arkansas
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Bentonville AR. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you select the ideal course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a school consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with various other questions that you need to 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Bentonville AR hospitals, practices and other health 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 guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Bentonville AR nursing homes or long term care centers. 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 individuals carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Bentonville AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Bentonville AR. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Bentonville AR area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bentonville AR 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 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 favorable reputation within the Bentonville AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Bentonville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the best certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Bentonville AR.