How to Pick the Right Nursing Assistant Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Jonesboro AR. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the USA. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's important that you choose the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Jonesboro AR hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Jonesboro AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting 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 restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate 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 instruction can be received at community colleges or at Jonesboro AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimal amount of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Jonesboro AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household obligations have left you with very 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 busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, 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 so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably 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 before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Jonesboro AR area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find 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 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 imperative 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 relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Jonesboro AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Program
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Jonesboro AR.