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How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School Near Juneau Alaska

Juneau Alaska Nursing Assistant reviewing 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 begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Juneau AK. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the USA. Although it may well seem like a daunting undertaking, it's essential that you pick the right school to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential 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 from home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, 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 Role of a Nursing Assistant

Juneau Alaska CNA with senior female patient in assisted living facility

CNAs are on the front lines of providing basic care to patients in a variety of health care facilities, with responsibilities ranging from assisting with personal daily needs such as bathing and exercising to monitoring vital signs and dietary restrictions. All job requirements tend to be non-invasive procedures and revolve around daily routines that patients may not be able to complete on their own. Working under the supervision of licensed nurses, CNAs provide personal, professional assistance, ensuring patients are treated with dignity and respect and while receiving necessary medical care. In addition to being able to provide day-to-day care to their patients, CNAs must be compassionate communicators who can support their patients through difficult and sometimes painful procedures. Because they provide many basic care services such as bathing patients and helping them transfer to wheelchairs, they must also have a certain level of physical fitness. CNAs are expected to be team players, serving as liaisons between other medical professionals and their patients. This often involves recording and conveying important information concerning the condition of those in their charge. CNAs are found in nearly every health care field, serving in Juneau AK locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Courses

Juneau Alaska young female student taking CNA classes onlineAttending CNA classes online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little 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.

What to Ask CNA Colleges

Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.

  • State Approval. Each state has its own requirements for training and certification to become a practicing CNA. When researching schools, make sure the program you select is on the state-approved program list to ensure you will meet Alaska's requirements for certification following graduation. While programs across the country all teach the same basic care principles, states may differ on the number of classroom hours and/or clinical practice time is required.
  • Accreditation. The first thing you will want to look for when choosing a CNA school is accreditation. Accreditation is proof that the school in question has met certain standards required to train and educate students. As such, always make sure that the school you are researching is accredited by a national accrediting agency.
  • Program Cost. The cost of a CNA program can vary from school to school, but in general, CNA training programs are less expensive than an LPN training program, as the curriculum is less in-depth. Vocational schools, community colleges and some medical facilities in the Juneau AK offer CNA training programs and may charge tuition by the credit hour or as a flat program fee. When calculating the total cost of a program, be sure to include the cost of books, course materials and uniform, background check fees, medical examination/TB test fees and the cost of the certification exam in addition to the tuition.
  • Time Commitment. A CNA training program can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to complete, and will include clinical training hours in addition to classroom hours. One of the reasons becoming a CNA is a great entry into the Alaska nursing profession is this fast completion time, meaning CNAs can enter the work force much more quickly than an aspiring LPN or RN. Many CNAs use a position as a CNA to determine if nursing is the right career for them, and may decide to become an LPN or RN at a later date.
  • Online vs. On Campus. Another program element to consider is whether or not your school of choice offers online courses. Online courses may be more convenient for students who have other work or family obligations that limit their availability to be on campus. Online programs provide students with the flexibility to complete assignments at their Juneau AK home on their own schedules. Recognizing the need for flexibility among their students, many traditional classroom CNA programs also offer classes during nights and weekends.

More on How to Become a CNA in Juneau

Pick the Best Juneau Nurse Assistant Training

Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Juneau Alaska.


 

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