How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program 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 programs near Jacksonville AR. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a challenging endeavor, it's important that you choose the right course to receive the proper training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental 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 concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a training course involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues as well as several other questions that you should 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 Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Jacksonville AR hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. 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 management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Jacksonville AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Jacksonville AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Jacksonville AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free 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 can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Jacksonville AR area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with 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 opinions 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Jacksonville AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Jacksonville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Training
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential 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 develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Jacksonville AR.