How to Enroll In the Best CNA College near Laveen Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Laveen AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the USA. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's imperative that you select the ideal course to receive the proper training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic 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 program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Laveen AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Laveen AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Laveen AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Laveen AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Laveen AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Laveen AZ 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 colleges 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 displeased 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 Laveen AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Laveen AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Laveen CNA Program
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both 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 select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Laveen AZ.