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How to Find the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Program Near Prattville Alabama

Prattville Alabama Nursing Assistant going over patient file with NurseOnce you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Prattville AL. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal school to receive the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a program consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

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The Function of a CNA

Prattville Alabama CNA with senior female patient in nursing home

CNAs (certified nursing assistants) work with 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 provide daily care for patients, performing different tasks than LPNs or RNs, typically helping with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing patients. LPNs and RNs are more highly educated, while CNAs can can earn certification through relatively short training programs at Prattville AL area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at regional community colleges.

CNA Training

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Prattville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 requirements as well.

CNA Online Courses

Prattville Alabama young female student enrolled in CNA courses onlineAttending CNA programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Prattville AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Training Programs

There are many CNA training schools within the greater Prattville Alabama area, but choosing one that provides an effective, quality 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 Prattville 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 Prattville 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 Prattville

Pick the Best Prattville Nurse Assistant School

Selecting the best certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prattville Alabama.


 

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