How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program Near Juneau Alaska
Once 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 classes near Juneau AK. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a challenging task, it's important that you pick the best program to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a program entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues as well as various other questions that you should 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 type of training and credentials that are available.
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The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Juneau AK hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Juneau AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The length 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Courses
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different 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 attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Juneau 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Juneau AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Juneau Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the right certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Juneau Alaska.