How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Soldotna Alaska
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it’s time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Soldotna AK. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Although it may well seem like a challenging undertaking, it’s essential that you pick the ideal course to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may 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 alternative later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a program involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those topics as well as various 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.
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The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Soldotna AK hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Measuring patient’s vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Soldotna AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA’s knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Soldotna AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Soldotna AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue 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 Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Soldotna AK area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Soldotna AK 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Soldotna AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Soldotna AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Affordable Local CNA Training Courses Soldotna Alaska
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant college is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. One of the reasons you stopped by our website was due to an interest in Affordable Local CNA Training Courses and an interest in getting more information on the topic Affordable Evening CNA Courses. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Soldotna AK.
More Alaska Nursing School Locations
Soldotna is a home rule city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 4,163, up from 3,759 in 2000. It is the seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
Soldotna is located in the Southcentral portion of Alaska on the central-western portion of the Kenai Peninsula. The city limits span 7 square miles along the Kenai River, which empties into the Cook Inlet in the nearby city of Kenai. The Kenai River was selected by CNN Travel as one of the "World's 15 Best Rivers for Travelers," due to its fishing and hunting opportunities. Soldotna is located on the western edge of the vast Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area spanning nearly 2 million acres and home to bears, moose, caribou, sheep, and many fish and bird species.
The city is located at the junction of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway, which has enabled Soldotna to develop as a service and retail hub for the Central Peninsula as well as for travelers between Anchorage and Homer. The Central Peninsula Hospital serves the medical needs of the region's residents and tourists. The Kenai Peninsula College, a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage, operates the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna. Additionally, the headquarters of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are located in the city.