How to Find the Right CNA Program in Montgomery Alabama
Congrats regarding your decision to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training near Montgomery AL. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a challenging undertaking, it’s essential that you pick the right course to obtain the proper training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before picking a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects as well as a few 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 Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Montgomery AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations 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 perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Montgomery AL 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 characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, 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 an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Montgomery AL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Montgomery AL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Montgomery AL area community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Montgomery AL area colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Montgomery AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some Montgomery AL area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Montgomery AL along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points 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 see how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for Montgomery AL area non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing prerequisites for nurses differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. For RN and LPN licensing in all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Montgomery AL school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification or licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check 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. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the Montgomery AL 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 unhappy 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 Montgomery AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the Montgomery AL schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA Course in Montgomery AL
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Montgomery AL.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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