How to Enroll In the Best CNA Training Program near West Memphis Arkansas
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near West Memphis AR. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the Country. Though it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the best school to obtain the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a school entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the West Memphis AR hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in West Memphis AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest 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 TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at West Memphis AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the 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 is state approved. Along with 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.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in West Memphis AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family obligations 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.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely 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 before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the West Memphis AR area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some West Memphis 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 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 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 good reputation within the West Memphis AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby West Memphis AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in West Memphis AR.