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How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Anchorage Alaska

Anchorage Alaska Nursing Assistant reviewing patient chart with NurseNow that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Anchorage AK. Once you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin 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 course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a training course consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin 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 Duties of a Nursing Assistant

Anchorage Alaska Nursing Assistant with senior female patient in assisted living facility

CNAs (certified nursing assistants) work with LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and RNs (registered nurses) to provide care for patients in a multitude of healthcare environments, such as hospitals, medical clinics or nursing homes. CNAs work closely with patients, performing different functions than RNs or LPNs, typically helping with things like bathing and dressing patients. LPNs and RNs require higher levels of education, while CNAs can can earn certification by enrolling in comparatively short training courses at Anchorage AK area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at local junior colleges.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Anchorage AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Courses

Anchorage Alaska young woman student taking CNA courses onlineEnrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Anchorage AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Schools

There are numerous CNA training schools within the greater Anchorage Alaska area, but selecting one that offers a good and effective 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 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.

More on How to Become a CNA in Anchorage

Choose the Best Anchorage Nurse Assistant Program

Picking the right certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential 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 list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select 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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