How to Choose the Best CNA College near Springdale Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Springdale AR. After you have earned your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a complicated undertaking, it's essential that you choose the ideal program to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating 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 completing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Springdale AR hospitals, practices 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 perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking 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 can also practice in Springdale AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Springdale AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 required to obtain 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 minimal amount of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. 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 Schools
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Springdale AR. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Springdale 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 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Springdale 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 colleges 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Springdale AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Springdale AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Springdale AR.