How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Springdale Arkansas
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Springdale AR. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Though it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it's important that you select the right course to acquire the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics as well as a few other questions that you need to 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 Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Springdale AR hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Springdale 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 identified as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Springdale 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 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 each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Springdale AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous 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 manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Springdale AR area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Springdale AR healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Springdale AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Springdale AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of 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 important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Springdale AR.