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How to Select the Right Accredited CNA College Near Goodyear Arizona

Goodyear Arizona Nursing Assistant going over patient file 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 searching for CNA training programs near Goodyear AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Although it may well seem like a daunting task, it's essential that you pick the best course to receive the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a program entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register 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 offered.

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The Job of a Nursing Assistant

Goodyear Arizona Nursing Assistant with senior woman in assisted living facility

CNAs (certified nursing assistants) work under LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and registered nurses (RNS) to care for patients in a wide range of healthcare environments, such as hospitals, medical clinics or nursing homes. CNAs provide daily care for patients, but they perform different functions than RNs or LPNs, typically helping with activities of daily living like bathing and dressing patients. LPNs and RNs require higher levels of education, while CNAs can become certified by enrolling in relatively short training courses at Goodyear AZ area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at regional community colleges.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Goodyear AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course 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 certain that the education 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 additional requirements as well.

Online CNA Courses

Goodyear Arizona young woman student taking CNA training onlineAttending CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Goodyear AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Courses

There are numerous CNA training schools within the greater Goodyear Arizona area, but finding one that provides an effective, quality program can be a bit of a challenge. Since you are going to invest your valuable time, money and energy into this training, it’s important that you choose the right school to help ensure that you will become a qualified Certified Nursing Assistant. So always investigate properly before enrolling in any institution. One way to get a better idea about a prospective school and its quality is to interact with recent graduates or current students. You may be able do it online if the school has any discussion forums. And before making your final selection, you should also take some of the following additional factors into consideration. 

  • Location of CNA School Campus. First thing to note while selecting any CNA training school is its location and the distance you need to travel to reach the school.  If you prefer not to travel long distance, then you should select a school near your Goodyear AZ residence. 
  • Accreditation. Select a CNA program which is accredited by one or more highly regarded organizations, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing and Education (CCNE).  Accreditation ensures that the school adheres to all of the essential standards of education as set down by these specialized nursing institutions, thus guaranteeing you will be provided a quality education.
  • Class Sizes. You also need to examine the class and school size as some students opt for smaller schools and classes to get individual attention, while others may opt for bigger schools with more students.
  • Affiliations. The most important part of training as a Certified Nursing Assistant is the practical experience.  So when selecting a CNA training school always make sure that it is affiliated with Goodyear Arizona area nursing homes, hospitals or other health care facilities where you can intern and gain practical knowledge.
  • Facility. One of the key factors to consider when evaluating any CNA training school is the quality of the facilities available for practical training.  Before enrolling, visit the school and training facilities on campus. If possible, sit in on some classes. 
  • Tuition Fees and Scholarships. Tuition fees for CNA programs differ from school to school and are based on many factors, such as your status as a resident in Arizona or if you are an out-of-state student, and whether the school is public or private.  Many schools offer scholarships and financial aid, which can make education affordable or at least manageable for those with more limited finances.  Scholarship policies differ from school to school, so it’s important to inquire about available CNA scholarships before enrollment.

More on How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Goodyear

Choose the Best Goodyear Nurse Assistant Training

Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 Goodyear Arizona.


 

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