How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant Training Program near Russellville Arkansas
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Russellville AR. Once you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may seem like a challenging endeavor, it's essential that you pick the ideal school to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those subjects along with a few 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 type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Russellville AR hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Russellville 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 accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive time frames. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Russellville AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 training 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 may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Russellville AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Russellville AR area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Russellville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Russellville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA School
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Russellville AR.