How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Eagle River Alaska
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Eagle River AK. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it may seem like a challenging undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students start with the two most basic 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 on that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a program requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Eagle River AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Eagle River AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward 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 Training Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Eagle River AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Eagle River AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Eagle River AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.