How to Select a CNA School in El Mirage Arizona
Good luck regarding your decision to practice as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training classes near El Mirage AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a daunting endeavor, it’s important that you pick the ideal program to receive 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 also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a school entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues along with several 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic services 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 rooms
CNAs might also work in El Mirage AZ 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 perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the El Mirage AZ area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arizona or 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 course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in El Mirage AZ. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by El Mirage AZ area community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at El Mirage AZ 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 desire 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in El Mirage AZ, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain El Mirage AZ area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Nursing Training Classes
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to El Mirage AZ and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for El Mirage AZ 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the El Mirage AZ school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification or licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the El Mirage AZ schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the El Mirage AZ schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA College in El Mirage AZ
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in El Mirage AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession 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 a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Cities in Arizona That You May Be Interested In