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How to Choose the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Program Near Anchorage Alaska

Anchorage Alaska Nursing Assistant going over patient chart with RNOnce 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 classes near Anchorage AK. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in health care within the USA. Although it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course involves far 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 subjects as well as a few 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.

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The Function of a CNA

Anchorage Alaska CNA with senior woman in assisted living facility

CNAs (certified nursing assistants) work under LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and registered nurses (RNS) to care for patients in a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, medical clinics or nursing homes. CNAs provide daily care for patients, but they perform different tasks than LPNs or RNs, typically helping with things like dressing and bathing patients. RNs and LPNs require higher levels of education, while CNAs can can earn certification through relatively short training courses at Anchorage AK area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at regional junior colleges.

CNA Programs

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Anchorage AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact 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 prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Programs

Anchorage Alaska young woman student taking CNA classes onlineEnrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Anchorage AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional 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). Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Training Programs

There are many CNA training schools within the greater Anchorage Alaska area, but finding one that provides a good and effective program can be a bit of a challenge. 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

Selecting the right certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both 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 pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Anchorage Alaska.


 

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