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How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School Near Juneau Alaska

Juneau Alaska CNA reviewing patient chart with RNOnce you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Juneau AK. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the United States. Although it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the best school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before picking a training course entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register 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 Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Juneau Alaska Nursing Assistant with senior woman in nursing home

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical component of a medical organization. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other Juneau AK medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

Online CNA Classes

Juneau Alaska young female student taking CNA classes onlineAttending CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Training Classes

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Juneau AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Juneau AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Learn How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Juneau

Choose the Right Juneau Nurse Assistant Program

Choosing the best certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Juneau Alaska.


 

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