How to Select a CNA Program near Salem 72576
Best wishes on your decision to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training near Salem AR. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the Country. Although it may seem like a difficult task, it’s essential that you select the right school to receive the necessary training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues together with several other questions that you need to 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.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Salem AR hospitals, practices and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Salem AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Salem AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. 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 prerequisites as well.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Salem AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Salem AR area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification or licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Salem 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Salem AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Salem AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Salem AR. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Considering CNA Classes Near Salem Arkansas?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Salem AR area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Choose the Right CNA College near Salem AR
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Salem AR.
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