How to Select the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Decatur Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Decatur AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming task, it's important that you select the ideal program to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a school consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
CNAs (certified nursing assistants) work alongside LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and RNs (registered nurses) to provide care for patients in a wide range of healthcare environments, such as hospitals, medical clinics or nursing homes. CNAs work closely with patients, performing different functions than RNs or LPNs, routinely helping with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing patients. LPNs and RNs require higher levels of education, while CNAs can become certified by enrolling in comparatively short training courses at Decatur AL area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at regional junior colleges.
CNA ProgramsUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Decatur AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as 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.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Decatur AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
There are numerous CNA training schools within the greater Decatur Alabama area, but selecting one that offers a good and effective 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 Decatur 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 Decatur 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.
More on How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Decatur
Pick the Right Decatur Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Decatur Alabama.