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How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Florence Arizona

Florence Arizona CNA taking blood pressure of male patientOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Florence AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's imperative that you select the ideal course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering 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 completing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a CNA

Florence Arizona Nursing Assistant greeting patient on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Florence AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:

  • Providing basic care to patients
  • Checking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs can also work in Florence AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships 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.

Certified Nursing Assistant Courses

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Florence AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for 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 is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.

Online CNA Programs

Florence Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant holding patient health chartAttending CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Florence AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative 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 alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Colleges

Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.

  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Florence AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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.  Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, 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 call some Florence AZ 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Florence AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Florence AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Florence CNA Colleges

Enroll in the Best Florence Nurse Assistant Training

Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Florence AZ.


 

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