How to Find the Best CNA Training Program near Jacksonville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Jacksonville AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in health care within the Country. Though it may seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you select the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may 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 option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues together with various other questions that you should 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Jacksonville AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. Per 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 prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Jacksonville AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Jacksonville AL vocational or trade schools. The length 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 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 minimum period of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Jacksonville AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on 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 pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 CNA certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Jacksonville AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Jacksonville AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the 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 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 superb reputation within the Jacksonville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Jacksonville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Jacksonville CNA Program
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Jacksonville AL.