How to Select the Best CNA Course near Springdale Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Springdale AR. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Though it may well seem like a daunting undertaking, it's essential that you pick the ideal program to obtain the proper training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating 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 performing your due diligence before selecting a program involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll 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 available.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Springdale AR hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Springdale 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 identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Springdale AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Springdale AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start 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 important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Springdale AR area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 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 schools you are considering 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 displeased 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 help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Springdale AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the right certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Springdale AR.