How to Find the Best CNA Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Prescott Valley AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Though it might seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you choose the best course to receive the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before picking a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Prescott Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Prescott Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Prescott Valley AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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. Many states require a certain 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 standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Prescott Valley 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Prescott Valley CNA Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prescott Valley AZ.