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How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Rogers Arkansas

Rogers AR CNA taking patient's vital signsOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Rogers AR. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it might seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you select the best school to receive the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a school entails much 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 covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Rogers AR Certified Nursing Assistant greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Rogers AR hospitals, practices and other healthcare facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:

  • Furnishing basic care to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other areas

CNAs might also practice in Rogers AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Rogers AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 might be additional requirements as well.

Online CNA Schools

Rogers AR student attending CNA online coursesEnrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Rogers AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

What to Ask CNA Colleges

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and 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 decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.

  • 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. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Rogers AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find out 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Rogers AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Rogers AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Program

Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Rogers AR.