How to Select the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Montgomery Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Montgomery AL. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the United States. Though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential 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 about that option later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a program consists of much 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 issues as well as a few other questions that you need to 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Duties of a CNA
A CNA is an important part of the medical organization. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other Montgomery AL medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Montgomery AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Montgomery AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Montgomery AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Montgomery AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Montgomery AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Montgomery AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
More on How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Montgomery
Choose the Best Montgomery Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Montgomery Alabama.