How to Pick the Best Nursing Assistant Training Program 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. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the USA. Although it might seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you choose the right course to receive the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Jonesboro AR hospitals, practices 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. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also work 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 identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Jonesboro AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Jonesboro AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Jonesboro AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm 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 acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Jonesboro AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Picking the best certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Jonesboro AR.