How to Choose the Right CNA Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Jonesboro AR. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the United States. Although it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's important that you pick the best school to obtain the appropriate 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 may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a training course involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues along with several other questions that you should 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 CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Jonesboro AR hospitals, practices and other health 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 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 might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Jonesboro AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Jonesboro AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Jonesboro AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Jonesboro AR area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Jonesboro 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 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Jonesboro AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain 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 requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Jonesboro AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Jonesboro AR.