How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near North Little Rock Arkansas
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near North Little Rock AR. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the United States. Although it may seem like a complicated task, it's important that you select the right program to acquire the necessary training and education. Many future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a school consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects together with several other questions that you should 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 type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the North Little Rock AR hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in North Little Rock AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at North Little Rock AR vocational or trade schools. The length 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with 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.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive 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 virtually all programs call for 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 alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important member of any North Little Rock AR healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with dignity and respect.
Things to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the North Little Rock AR area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies 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 reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 North 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the North Little Rock AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local North Little Rock AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA school 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 develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in North Little Rock AR.