How to Pick the Best Nursing Assistant Course near Jonesboro Arkansas
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Jonesboro AR. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it might seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's essential that you choose the best program to receive the proper training and education. Many potential 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 course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a school involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues as well as various other questions that you should 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 Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Jonesboro AR hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight 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 many and varied, 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
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Jonesboro AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Jonesboro AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Jonesboro AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Jonesboro AR area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Jonesboro AR healthcare 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Jonesboro AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Jonesboro AR.