How to Pick the Right CNA Training Program near Russellville Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Russellville AR. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in health care within the USA. Though it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the best course to receive the necessary training and education. Many potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you register 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 Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Russellville AR hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus 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 environment might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Russellville AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of 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 commonly reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Russellville AR vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 required to receive 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 minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with 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
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Russellville AR. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Russellville AR area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Russellville 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential 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 most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Russellville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA Program
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Russellville AR.