How to Find the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Florence Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Florence AL. Once you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in health care within the Country. Although it may well seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you choose the right course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a training course entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss 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 Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Florence AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Florence AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Florence 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Florence AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things 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 measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Florence AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Florence AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Florence Nurse Assistant Program
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Florence Alabama.