How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Glendale Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Glendale AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Although it may seem like a complicated task, it's important that you select the best course to acquire the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a program consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, 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 Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Glendale AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Glendale AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Glendale 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Glendale Nurse Assistant School
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose 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 develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final 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 Glendale Arizona.