How to Select a CNA Program near Lowell 72745
Congratulations on your decision to practice as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training classes near Lowell AR. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it’s important that you choose the best course to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a school involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects along with several 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 offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Lowell AR hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Lowell AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Lowell AR vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered to become a nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lowell AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Lowell AR area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing requirements for nurses vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. For RN and LPN licensing in all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification or licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lowell AR 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 schools you are looking at 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Lowell AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Lowell AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Lowell AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward 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.
Considering CNA Classes Near Lowell Arkansas?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Lowell AR area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Lowell is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. Located within the Ozarks, first settlement was along Old Wire Road in the 1840s, and although destroyed during the Civil War, the community was reestablished by J. H. McClure and thrived when the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway came through the area in the 1880s. Today, the city is a growing bedroom community within the rapidly growing Northwest Arkansas region. Lowell is also home to the headquarters of trucking company J.B. Hunt. Lowell's population was 7,327 at the 2010 census, an increase of 46% since 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Lowell has a total area of 9.2 square miles (23.9 km2), of which 9.2 square miles (23.7 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.68%, is water. Lowell is located in southern Benton County at 36°15′38″N 94°8′22″W / 36.26056°N 94.13944°W / 36.26056; -94.13944 (36.260429, -94.139570). It is bordered by the cities of Springdale and Bethel Heights to the south, Cave Springs to the west and Rogers to the north. 4 miles (6 km) to the east is Beaver Lake, a large reservoir of the White River.
The Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area consists of three Arkansas counties: Benton, Madison, and Washington, and McDonald County, Missouri. The area had a population of 347,045 at the 2000 census which had increased to 463,204 by the 2010 Census (an increase of 33.47 per cent). The area does not consist of the usual principal-city-with-suburbs morphology; instead the four principal cities are all located along Interstate 49 in a linear configuration. Lowell is also located along this corridor, between Springdale and Rogers.
Pick the Right CNA Course near Lowell AR
Picking the best certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Lowell AR.
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