How to Enroll In the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Classes Near Maricopa 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 Maricopa AZ. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Although it may seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the ideal program to obtain the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk 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 Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight 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 responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Maricopa AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Maricopa 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Maricopa AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the Maricopa AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Maricopa 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 programs 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Maricopa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Maricopa Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Maricopa Arizona.