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How to Choose the Best CNA Program near New River Arizona

New River Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant taking blood pressure of male patientNow 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 searching for CNA training programs near New River AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the best school to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a school entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics along with several other questions that you need to 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 instruction and credentials that are available.

The Job of a CNA

New River Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant greeting patient with crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the New River AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:

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

CNAs may also practice in New River 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 the majority of people carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at New River AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 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 can be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Schools

New River Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant holding patient medical chartEnrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in New River AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Programs

Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the New River AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some New River 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 schools 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the New River AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby New River AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Find Out More About New River CNA Courses

Enroll in the Best New River CNA School

Picking the right certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in New River AZ.


 

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