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CNA Certification Training Classes Russellville AR


How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Russellville Arkansas

Russellville AR CNA taking patient's vital signsOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Russellville AR. After you have earned your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the USA. Though it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the best course to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a training course consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Job of a CNA

Russellville AR Nursing Assistant assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Russellville AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare 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 guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other areas

CNAs may also work in Russellville 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 identified as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Russellville AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. 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 requirements as well.

CNA Online Training

Russellville AR student attending online CNA coursesAttending CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Russellville AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

What to Ask CNA Training Classes

Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Russellville AR area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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.  Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent 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 assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Russellville 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Russellville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Russellville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Pick the Best Nurse Assistant School

Russellville AR CNA with assisted living patientSelecting the right certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 CNA in Russellville AR.