How to Select the Best Accredited CNA Program Near Glendale Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Glendale AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a challenging endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the right program to obtain the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a program consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should 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 available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
A CNA is a vital part of a medical team. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities 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 reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other Glendale AZ medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for people who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Glendale AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably 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 before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Glendale AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Glendale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Glendale Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Glendale Arizona.