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How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Rogers Arkansas

Rogers AR Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureNow that 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 Rogers AR. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Although it may seem like an overwhelming task, it's important that you pick the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental 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 program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects along with several other questions that you should 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 Certified Nursing Assistant

Rogers AR Certified Nursing Assistant helping man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Rogers AR hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might 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 aiding patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs may also work in Rogers AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Rogers AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

Online CNA Schools

Rogers AR woman taking online CNA trainingAttending CNA programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Rogers AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require 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 option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free 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 may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 very 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 busy schedule.

What to Ask CNA Schools

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium 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 prerequisites 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 attending 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 working.
  • Reputation. Visit 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 also. In addition, 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 assessments 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Rogers AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Rogers AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Training

Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Rogers AR.