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How to Enroll In the Best Accredited CNA College Near Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix Arizona Nursing Assistant reviewing patient chart with RNNow 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 Phoenix AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a daunting endeavor, it's essential that you pick the best program to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally 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 performing your due diligence before deciding on a training course involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues as well as a few 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 type of training and credentials that are available.

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The Job of a Nursing Assistant

Phoenix Arizona Nursing Assistant with senior woman in assisted living facility

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work alongside licensed practical nurses (LPNs) 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, performing different tasks than RNs or LPNs, typically helping with things like dressing and bathing patients. RNs and LPNs are more highly educated, while CNAs can become certified by enrolling in relatively short training programs at Phoenix AZ area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at local community colleges.

CNA Courses

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Phoenix AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 obtain 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 that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain 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 suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Courses

Phoenix Arizona young female student taking CNA courses onlineAttending CNA schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Phoenix AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper 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 numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs

There are many CNA training schools within the greater Phoenix Arizona area, but finding one that provides a good and effective program can be a bit of a challenge. As 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 Phoenix 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 Phoenix 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 Phoenix

Pick the Best Phoenix Nurse Assistant Program

Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, 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 each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Phoenix Arizona.


 

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