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How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes Near Anchorage Alaska

Anchorage Alaska Nursing Assistant reviewing patient file with RNOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Anchorage AK. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the Country. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you choose the right school to acquire the proper training and education. Many 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 debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those topics together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.

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The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Anchorage Alaska Nursing Assistant with senior woman in nursing home

CNAs (certified nursing assistants) work under licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNS) to provide care for patients in a multitude 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 like bathing and dressing patients. RNs and LPNs require higher levels of education, while CNAs can can earn certification through relatively short training programs at Anchorage AK area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at local community colleges.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Anchorage AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 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 instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Training

Anchorage Alaska young woman student taking CNA classes onlineEnrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Anchorage AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of 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 easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

What to Ask CNA Training Classes

There are numerous CNA training schools within the greater Anchorage Alaska area, but selecting one that provides an effective, quality program can be quite challenging. Since 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 Anchorage AK 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 Anchorage Alaska 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 Alaska 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 Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Anchorage

Pick the Right Anchorage Nurse Assistant Program

Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Anchorage Alaska.


 

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