How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Jacksonville Arkansas
Once 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 training classes near Jacksonville AR. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Although it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you select the ideal course to obtain the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating 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 completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll 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 available.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Jacksonville AR hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking 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 areas
CNAs might also practice in Jacksonville AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, 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 assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Jacksonville AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn 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 amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, 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 a large number of CNA schools and colleges within 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 already discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium 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 differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, 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 contact some Jacksonville 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Jacksonville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors 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 school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Jacksonville AR.