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How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas

Jonesboro AR Nursing Assistant taking man's blood pressureOnce you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Jonesboro AR. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Although it may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the right course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a training course entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those issues together with various other questions that you need to 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 training and credentials that are available.

The Function of a Nursing Assistant

Jonesboro AR Nursing Assistant assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Jonesboro AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Furnishing basic services to patients
  • Checking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other areas

CNAs can also practice in Jonesboro AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Courses

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 period of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Training

Jonesboro AR student attending CNA online trainingEnrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Jonesboro AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A CNA is an important part of any Jonesboro AR medical team. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the medical agency or facility that she or he is employed by. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for those who love to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.

What to Ask CNA Degree Programs

What to Ask Jonesboro AR CNA training programsOnce you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, 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 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Jonesboro AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 colleges you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Jonesboro AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
  • 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 requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Jonesboro AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Pick the Best CNA Program

Jonesboro AR CNA with nursing home residentChoosing the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Jonesboro AR.