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CNA Certification Training Classes Jacksonville AR


How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant School near Jacksonville Arkansas

Jacksonville AR CNA taking man's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Jacksonville AR. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it might seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you choose the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental 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 course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a training course involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Jacksonville AR Nursing Assistant assisting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Jacksonville AR hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Administering basic care to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other areas

CNAs can also practice in Jacksonville AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Jacksonville AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

Online CNA Classes

Jacksonville AR woman taking CNA online coursesAttending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Jacksonville AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some 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 economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Schools

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Jacksonville AR area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Jacksonville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Choose the Right Nurse Assistant School

Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Jacksonville AR.