How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Springdale 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 finding CNA classes near Springdale AR. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it might seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you select the best course to acquire the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a program consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start 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 perform many jobs in the Springdale AR hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction 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 responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care 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
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Springdale AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. 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 the majority of people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Springdale AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to 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.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Springdale AR. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some 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 economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Springdale AR area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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 performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. 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 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Springdale AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Springdale AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Springdale AR.