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How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama CNA reviewing patient file with RNOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Birmingham AL. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it might seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you choose the right course to acquire the proper training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a program requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you register 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.

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The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Birmingham Alabama Nursing Assistant with senior woman in nursing home

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work under LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and RNs (registered nurses) to provide care for patients in a variety of healthcare environments, such as hospitals, medical clinics or nursing homes. CNAs provide daily care for patients, but they perform different tasks than LPNs or RNs, typically helping with things like dressing and bathing patients. RNs and LPNs are more highly educated, while CNAs can become certified through comparatively short training programs at Birmingham AL area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at regional community colleges.

CNA Courses

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Birmingham AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 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 other prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Programs

Birmingham Alabama young woman student taking CNA classes onlineEnrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Birmingham AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Courses

There are numerous CNA training schools within the greater Birmingham Alabama area, but choosing 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 Birmingham 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 Birmingham 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.

Learn How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Birmingham

Pick the Best Birmingham Nurse Assistant School

Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Birmingham Alabama.


 

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