How to Choose a CNA Classes in Craig Alaska
Congrats on your decision to practice as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant classes near Craig AK. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the United States. Even though it may well seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it’s essential that you select the right school to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a program entails far 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 addressing those subjects as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Craig AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. 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 direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Craig AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they can become the conduit 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 beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Craig AK area. The length 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 have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Alaska or 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 sure that the training 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 prerequisites as well.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Craig AK. 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Craig AK area community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Craig AK area colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Craig AK, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Craig AK area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Nursing Training Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Craig AK along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points 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 selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for Craig AK area non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing criteria for nurses are different 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Craig AK school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification or licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 opinions are of the Craig AK 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Craig AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the Craig AK schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training in Craig AK
Picking the best certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 Craig AK.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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