How to Enroll In a CNA School in Piedmont Alabama
Good luck regarding your decision to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant courses near Piedmont AL. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it might seem like a difficult undertaking, it’s important that you pick the ideal program to acquire the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic 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 concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before picking a training course involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those issues as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let’s discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Piedmont AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Piedmont AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. Often, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Piedmont AL area. The duration 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or 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 approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Piedmont AL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Piedmont AL area community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Piedmont AL area colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished 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 alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Piedmont AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Piedmont AL area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Piedmont AL and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for Piedmont AL area non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing requirements for nurses vary 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Piedmont AL school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification or licensing requirements 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 considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the Piedmont AL 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 complete 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 Piedmont AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the Piedmont AL schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right CNA Training Programs in Piedmont AL
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 Piedmont AL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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