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How to Enroll In the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant School Near Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix Arizona CNA going over patient file with NurseOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Phoenix AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you select the best school to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating 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 performing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

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The Role of a Nursing Assistant

Phoenix Arizona Nursing Assistant with senior female patient in assisted living facility

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work with LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and RNs (registered nurses) to provide care for patients in a wide range of healthcare settings, 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 things like bathing and dressing patients. RNs and LPNs require higher levels of education, while CNAs can become certified by enrolling in comparatively short training courses at Phoenix AZ area nursing or vocational schools, including online programs, or at local community colleges.

CNA Certificates

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Phoenix AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 mandated to have 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 minimal amount of training directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 may be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Courses

Phoenix Arizona young woman student taking CNA training onlineAttending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Phoenix AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component 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 alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

What to Ask CNA Colleges

There are many CNA training schools within the greater Phoenix Arizona area, but choosing one that offers 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.

Learn How to Become a CNA in Phoenix

Choose the Right Phoenix Nurse Assistant Program

Choosing the right certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Phoenix Arizona.


 

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