How to Pick the Best CNA School Near Green Valley Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Green Valley AZ. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you choose the ideal school to obtain the necessary training and education. Many potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be considering 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 prior to deciding on a training course involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with several 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Green Valley AZ hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Green Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Green Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Green Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education and employment in the Green Valley AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch 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 reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Green Valley 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 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Green Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Green Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Green Valley Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 Green Valley Arizona.