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How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School Near Dothan Alabama

Dothan Alabama Nursing Assistant reviewing patient chart with RNNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Dothan AL. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you choose the best course to receive the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin 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 at home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a program consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

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The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Dothan Alabama CNA with senior woman in nursing home

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work alongside LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and RNs (registered nurses) to care for patients in a wide range of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, medical clinics or nursing homes. CNAs work closely with patients, but they perform different functions than LPNs or RNs, routinely helping with activities of daily living like dressing and bathing patients. RNs and LPNs are more highly educated, while CNAs can become certified through comparatively short training programs at Dothan AL area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at regional junior colleges.

CNA Certificates

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Classes

Dothan Alabama young woman student enrolled in CNA courses onlineAttending CNA classes online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. 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. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that 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 many CNA training schools within the greater Dothan Alabama area, but choosing one that provides a good and effective program can be a bit of a challenge. As 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 Dothan 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 Dothan 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 Dothan

Pick the Right Dothan Nurse Assistant School

Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Dothan Alabama.


 

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