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How to Find the Right Accredited CNA College Near Fairbanks Alaska

Fairbanks Alaska Nursing Assistant going over patient file with NurseNow that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Fairbanks AK. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the United States. Although it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the best course to receive the necessary 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 program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a school entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start 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

Fairbanks Alaska Nursing Assistant with senior woman in nursing home

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work alongside licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and RNs (registered nurses) to care for patients in a multitude of healthcare environments, such as hospitals, medical clinics or nursing homes. CNAs work closely with patients, but they perform different tasks than RNs or LPNs, typically helping with things like dressing and bathing patients. LPNs and RNs require higher levels of education, while CNAs can become certified by enrolling in relatively short training courses at Fairbanks AK area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at regional junior colleges.

CNA Training

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Fairbanks AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Schools

Fairbanks Alaska young woman student taking CNA training onlineEnrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Fairbanks AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Programs

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

Find Out How to Become a CNA in Fairbanks

Pick the Right Fairbanks Nurse Assistant Program

Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fairbanks Alaska.


 

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