How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Jacksonville Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Jacksonville AR. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's important that you select the ideal school to obtain the proper training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a school requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Jacksonville AR hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities 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 work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Jacksonville AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Jacksonville AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the 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 training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Jacksonville AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Jacksonville AR area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas 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 considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Jacksonville AR 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Jacksonville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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 requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Jacksonville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Program
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate 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 Jacksonville AR.