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How to Pick the Best CNA Program Near Anchorage Alaska

Anchorage Alaska CNA reviewing patient file with NurseNow that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Anchorage AK. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in health care within the USA. Although it might seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you select the best school to receive the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics as well as several 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 training and credentials that are available.

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The Duties of a CNA

Anchorage Alaska CNA with senior female patient in assisted living facility

CNAs are on the front lines of providing basic care to patients in a variety of health care facilities, with responsibilities ranging from assisting with personal daily needs such as bathing and exercising to monitoring vital signs and dietary restrictions. All job requirements tend to be non-invasive procedures and revolve around daily routines that patients may not be able to complete on their own. Working under the supervision of licensed nurses, CNAs provide personal, professional assistance, ensuring patients are treated with dignity and respect and while receiving necessary medical care. In addition to being able to provide day-to-day care to their patients, CNAs must be compassionate communicators who can support their patients through difficult and sometimes painful procedures. Because they provide many basic care services such as bathing patients and helping them transfer to wheelchairs, they must also have a certain level of physical fitness. CNAs are expected to be team players, serving as liaisons between other medical professionals and their patients. This often involves recording and conveying important information concerning the condition of those in their charge. CNAs are found in nearly every health care field, serving in Anchorage AK locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Anchorage AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 minimum period of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Programs

Anchorage Alaska young female student taking CNA classes onlineEnrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Anchorage AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Schools

Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.

  • State Approval. Each state has its own requirements for training and certification to become a practicing CNA. When researching schools, make sure the program you select is on the state-approved program list to ensure you will meet Alaska's requirements for certification following graduation. While programs across the country all teach the same basic care principles, states may differ on the number of classroom hours and/or clinical practice time is required.
  • Accreditation. The first thing you will want to look for when choosing a CNA school is accreditation. Accreditation is proof that the school in question has met certain standards required to train and educate students. As such, always make sure that the school you are researching is accredited by a national accrediting agency.
  • Program Cost. The cost of a CNA program can vary from school to school, but in general, CNA training programs are less expensive than an LPN training program, as the curriculum is less in-depth. Vocational schools, community colleges and some medical facilities in the Anchorage AK offer CNA training programs and may charge tuition by the credit hour or as a flat program fee. When calculating the total cost of a program, be sure to include the cost of books, course materials and uniform, background check fees, medical examination/TB test fees and the cost of the certification exam in addition to the tuition.
  • Time Commitment. A CNA training program can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to complete, and will include clinical training hours in addition to classroom hours. One of the reasons becoming a CNA is a great entry into the Alaska nursing profession is this fast completion time, meaning CNAs can enter the work force much more quickly than an aspiring LPN or RN. Many CNAs use a position as a CNA to determine if nursing is the right career for them, and may decide to become an LPN or RN at a later date.
  • Online vs. On Campus. Another program element to consider is whether or not your school of choice offers online courses. Online courses may be more convenient for students who have other work or family obligations that limit their availability to be on campus. Online programs provide students with the flexibility to complete assignments at their Anchorage AK home on their own schedules. Recognizing the need for flexibility among their students, many traditional classroom CNA programs also offer classes during nights and weekends.

Learn How to Become a CNA in Anchorage

Choose the Best Anchorage Nurse Assistant School

Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical 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 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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