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How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas

Jonesboro AR Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's vital signsOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Jonesboro AR. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the Country. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's important that you choose the right program to receive the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course entails 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 addressing those topics together with several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Role of a CNA

Jonesboro AR Nursing Assistant greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Jonesboro AR hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting 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 helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs may also work in Jonesboro AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Jonesboro AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 may be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Training

Jonesboro AR woman attending CNA online coursesAttending CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Jonesboro AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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). And so if your work and household obligations 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 busy schedule.

Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A CNA is a critical component of any Jonesboro AR medical organization. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who love to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.

Things to Ask CNA Programs

What to Ask Jonesboro AR CNA programsOnce you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Jonesboro AR area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different 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 an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out 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 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Jonesboro AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Jonesboro AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School

Jonesboro AR Nursing Assistant with assisted living residentSelecting the best certified nursing assistant college is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Jonesboro AR.