How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near New River Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near New River AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in health care within the USA. Though it may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's essential that you choose the ideal program to acquire the necessary 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 contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the New River AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since 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 role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading 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 may also work in New River AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CertificatesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at New River AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in New River AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors 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 see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the New River AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often 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. Many 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 excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some New River 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the New River 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 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 prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local New River AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right New River Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in New River AZ.