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CNA Certification Training Classes Fayetteville AR


How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Fayetteville Arkansas

Fayetteville AR Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's blood pressureOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Fayetteville AR. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Although it may well seem like a challenging undertaking, it's essential that you pick the ideal program to receive the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Role of a CNA

Fayetteville AR Nursing Assistant helping man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Fayetteville AR hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations 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 perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Administering basic care 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
  • Conveying patients to other areas

CNAs may also work in Fayetteville AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Fayetteville AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 can be additional requirements as well.

Online CNA Schools

Fayetteville AR student attending online CNA classesAttending CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Fayetteville AR. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. 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 obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

What to Ask CNA Programs

Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Fayetteville AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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.  Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards 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 organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fayetteville AR healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 Fayetteville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Fayetteville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right CNA Training

Fayetteville AR CNA with assisted living patientChoosing the ideal certified nursing assistant college is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fayetteville AR.