How to Choose a CNA Program in Girdwood Alaska
Congratulations on your decision to become a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant courses near Girdwood AK. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a difficult task, it’s important that you select the best program to acquire the necessary training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Girdwood AK hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking 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 may also work in Girdwood AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Girdwood AK area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. 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
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Girdwood AK. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain 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 typically a two year program made available by Girdwood AK area community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Girdwood AK 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 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate 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 essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Girdwood AK, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many Girdwood AK area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities 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 hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Nursing Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Girdwood AK and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points 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 field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for Girdwood AK area non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing prerequisites 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Girdwood AK school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification or licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the Girdwood 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Girdwood AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the Girdwood AK schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA Course in Girdwood AK
Picking the right certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Girdwood AK.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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