How to Find the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near Jonesboro Arkansas
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Jonesboro AR. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you pick the ideal program to receive the necessary training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a school involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with a few 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 kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks 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 rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading 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 rooms
CNAs may also practice in Jonesboro AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Jonesboro AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Jonesboro AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important component of any Jonesboro AR healthcare organization. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of 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 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 lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. 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 often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Jonesboro AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you select a CNA college 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Jonesboro AR.