How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Rogers Arkansas
Now that 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. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a complicated task, it's important that you choose the ideal course to acquire the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on 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 addressing those subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Rogers AR hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight 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 duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Rogers 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 defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Rogers AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Rogers AR. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Rogers AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Rogers AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Rogers AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Rogers AR.