How to Pick the Right CNA College near Jacksonville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Jacksonville AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a complicated undertaking, it's important that you choose the best program to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally 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 completing your due diligence before deciding on a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics along with a few 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Jacksonville AL hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. As indicated by 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 main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Jacksonville AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CoursesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Jacksonville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Courses
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Jacksonville AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Training Classes
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Jacksonville AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Jacksonville AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish 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 Jacksonville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Jacksonville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Jacksonville Certified Nursing Assistant School
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Jacksonville AL.