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How to Pick the Right CNA Course Near Dothan Alabama

Dothan Alabama Nursing Assistant going over patient chart with RNNow that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Dothan AL. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you select the right school to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating 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 school involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those topics together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

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The Duties of a Nursing Assistant

Dothan Alabama CNA with senior woman in assisted living facility

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work under licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNS) to 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 functions than RNs or LPNs, routinely helping with things such as dressing and bathing patients. RNs and LPNs require higher levels of education, while CNAs can become certified through relatively short training programs at Dothan AL area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at regional community colleges.

CNA Courses

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

Online CNA Schools

Dothan Alabama young female student taking CNA classes onlineEnrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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). Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Programs

There are numerous CNA training schools within the greater Dothan Alabama area, but selecting one that provides a good and effective program can be quite challenging. 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 Best Dothan Nurse Assistant Program

Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate 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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