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How to Select the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Athens Alabama

Athens Alabama CNA going over patient file with NurseNow 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 classes near Athens AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you choose the right school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a school involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.

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The Role of a Nursing Assistant

Athens Alabama Nursing Assistant with senior female patient in nursing home

CNAs (certified nursing assistants) work under licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNS) to provide care for patients in a multitude of healthcare environments, such as hospitals, medical clinics or nursing homes. CNAs work closely with patients, performing different tasks than RNs or LPNs, routinely helping with activities of daily living such as dressing and bathing patients. RNs and LPNs require higher levels of education, while CNAs can can earn certification by enrolling in relatively short training programs at Athens AL area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at regional junior colleges.

CNA Training

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Athens AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to 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.

CNA Online Courses

Athens Alabama young female student taking CNA training onlineEnrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Athens AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Courses

There are numerous CNA training schools within the greater Athens Alabama area, but selecting one that offers an effective, quality program can be quite challenging. Since you are going to invest your valuable time, money and energy into this training, it’s important that you choose the right school to help ensure that you will become a qualified Certified Nursing Assistant. So always investigate properly before enrolling in any institution. One way to get a better idea about a prospective school and its quality is to interact with recent graduates or current students. You may be able do it online if the school has any discussion forums. And before making your final selection, you should also take some of the following additional factors into consideration. 

  • Location of CNA School Campus. First thing to note while selecting any CNA training school is its location and the distance you need to travel to reach the school.  If you prefer not to travel long distance, then you should select a school near your Athens AL residence. 
  • Accreditation. Select a CNA program which is accredited by one or more highly regarded organizations, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing and Education (CCNE).  Accreditation ensures that the school adheres to all of the essential standards of education as set down by these specialized nursing institutions, thus guaranteeing you will be provided a quality education.
  • Class Sizes. You also need to examine the class and school size as some students opt for smaller schools and classes to get individual attention, while others may opt for bigger schools with more students.
  • Affiliations. The most important part of training as a Certified Nursing Assistant is the practical experience.  So when selecting a CNA training school always make sure that it is affiliated with Athens Alabama area nursing homes, hospitals or other health care facilities where you can intern and gain practical knowledge.
  • Facility. One of the key factors to consider when evaluating any CNA training school is the quality of the facilities available for practical training.  Before enrolling, visit the school and training facilities on campus. If possible, sit in on some classes. 
  • Tuition Fees and Scholarships. Tuition fees for CNA programs differ from school to school and are based on many factors, such as your status as a resident in Alabama or if you are an out-of-state student, and whether the school is public or private.  Many schools offer scholarships and financial aid, which can make education affordable or at least manageable for those with more limited finances.  Scholarship policies differ from school to school, so it’s important to inquire about available CNA scholarships before enrollment.

Find Out How to Become a CNA in Athens

Choose the Right Athens Nurse Assistant Program

Selecting the right certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Athens Alabama.


 

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