How to Pick the Right CNA School near Fayetteville Arkansas
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Fayetteville AR. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you select the best program to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before picking a school entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Fayetteville AR hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Fayetteville AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit 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 significant resource for planning the appropriate 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 Fayetteville AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Fayetteville AR. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Fayetteville AR area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet 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. Also, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fayetteville 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Fayetteville AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Fayetteville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant School
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Fayetteville AR.