How to Find the Right Accredited CNA College Near Gilbert Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Gilbert AZ. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it may well seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you select the right course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a program requires far 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 various other questions that you should 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important part of a healthcare team. In fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other Gilbert AZ healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for people who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Gilbert AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 mandated to receive 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 directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Gilbert AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Gilbert AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Gilbert AZ 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Gilbert AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Gilbert AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Gilbert Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Gilbert Arizona.