HOME >> ARKANSAS >> JACKSONVILLE >> CNA PROGRAMS NEAR ME


CNA Certification Training Classes Jacksonville AR


How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Jacksonville Arkansas

Jacksonville AR Nursing Assistant taking man's vital signsNow 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 searching for CNA classes near Jacksonville AR. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's important that you select the right program to obtain the necessary training and education. Many potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a program entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you should 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Jacksonville AR Certified Nursing Assistant greeting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Jacksonville AR hospitals, practices and other health care 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Providing basic care to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Jacksonville AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Jacksonville AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 education is state certified. 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 prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Training

Jacksonville AR student taking online CNA classesAttending CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Jacksonville AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask CNA Training Programs

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Jacksonville AR area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specific 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 comply with the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find 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 assessments 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 complete 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 good reputation within the Jacksonville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Jacksonville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Pick the Right CNA Program

Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding 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 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 certified nursing assistant in Jacksonville AR.