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How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Rogers Arkansas

Rogers AR Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsOnce 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 programs near Rogers AR. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you select the ideal course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those issues together with several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Rogers AR Certified Nursing Assistant helping patient

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Rogers AR hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision 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 duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Providing basic services 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
  • Transferring patients to other areas

CNAs might also practice in Rogers AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Rogers AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Classes

Rogers AR student taking CNA online classesEnrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Rogers AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A CNA is a critical component of any Rogers AR medical organization. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work 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 right profession for people who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with dignity and respect.

Things to Ask CNA Training Classes

What to Ask Rogers AR CNA training programsNow that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within 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 previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Rogers AR area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Rogers 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Rogers AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Rogers AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Pick the Right CNA Training

Rogers AR CNA with nursing home residentChoosing the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Rogers AR.