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How to Pick the Best Accredited CNA Training Program Near Auburn Alabama

Auburn Alabama CNA reviewing patient chart with RNNow 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 finding CNA classes near Auburn AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Although it may well seem like a daunting task, it's important that you select the best course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most fundamental 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 about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a school requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics together 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.

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The Job of a CNA

Auburn Alabama Nursing Assistant with senior female patient in nursing home

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical member of any medical team. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other Auburn AL medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for those who love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.

CNA Programs

In contrast to 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 Auburn AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.

Online CNA Training

Auburn Alabama young woman student enrolled in CNA classes onlineEnrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Auburn AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask CNA Programs

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Auburn AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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.  Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Auburn AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Auburn AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Auburn AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

More on How to Become a CNA in Auburn

Choose the Best Auburn Nurse Assistant School

Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Auburn Alabama.


 

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