How to Select the Right Accredited CNA Program Near Florence Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Florence AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the USA. Though it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the best school to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to picking a program involves much 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 as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
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The Role of a CNA
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical component of a healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other Florence AZ healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for people who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
CNA TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Florence AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Florence AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional 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). And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with 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 final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Florence AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Florence AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 displeased 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 Florence AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Florence AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Florence Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Florence Arizona.