How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near North 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 begin the process of searching for CNA classes near North Little Rock AR. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the USA. Even though it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you choose the ideal program to receive the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the North Little Rock AR hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in North Little Rock 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 perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at North Little Rock AR vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in North Little Rock AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
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 utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. 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 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education and employment in the North Little Rock AR area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some North Little Rock AR healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the North Little Rock AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby North Little Rock AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA School
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in North Little Rock AR.