How to Enroll In the Right CNA Program Near Birmingham Alabama
Once 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 classes near Birmingham AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in medical care within the USA. Though it may seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you choose the ideal 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 price of tuition. You might additionally be debating 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 selecting a program entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Duties of a CNA
A CNA is a vital component of the healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other Birmingham AL medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for people who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Birmingham AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three 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 minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with 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 certain that the training 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Birmingham AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Birmingham AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific 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 comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Birmingham AL 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 colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Birmingham AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Birmingham AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Birmingham Nurse Assistant School
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select a CNA school 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 shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Birmingham Alabama.