How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near Little Rock Arkansas
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Little Rock AR. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's important that you choose the best program to obtain the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin 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 at home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Little Rock AR hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Little Rock AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Little Rock AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Little Rock AR. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous 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 and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Little Rock AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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. 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 a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Little Rock 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Little Rock AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Little Rock AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Little Rock AR.