How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Program near North Little Rock Arkansas
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near North Little Rock AR. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a difficult endeavor, it's essential that you choose the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a program entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, 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 are responsible for many duties in the North Little Rock AR hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work 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 responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in North Little Rock AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, for example 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 prolonged periods of time. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at North Little Rock AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in North Little Rock AR. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the North Little Rock AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the North Little Rock AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby North Little Rock AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in North Little Rock AR.