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

Foley Alabama Nursing Assistant reviewing patient file with RNOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Foley AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you pick the right school to receive the proper training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering 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 before deciding on a school entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you register 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.

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The Function of a Nursing Assistant

Foley Alabama CNA with senior woman in nursing home

CNAs (certified nursing assistants) work under licensed practical nurses (LPNs) 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 tasks than LPNs or RNs, routinely helping with activities of daily living such as dressing and bathing patients. LPNs and RNs are more highly educated, while CNAs can can earn certification by enrolling in comparatively short training courses at Foley AL area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at local community colleges.

CNA Courses

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Foley AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 period of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important 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 suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Schools

Foley Alabama young female student taking CNA courses onlineEnrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Foley AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes

There are many CNA training schools within the greater Foley Alabama area, but choosing one that offers an effective, quality 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 Foley 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 Foley 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.

Learn How to Become a CNA in Foley

Pick the Right Foley Nurse Assistant Program

Selecting the best certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Foley Alabama.


 

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