How to Pick a CNA College near West Memphis 72301
Congrats on your decision to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant courses near West Memphis AR. After you have earned your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in medical care within the USA. Though it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it’s essential that you choose the best program to obtain 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 price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before picking a program consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects as well as 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 kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the West Memphis AR hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in West Memphis AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA’s knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at West Memphis AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in 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 amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the West Memphis AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, 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 other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the West Memphis AR area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing requirements for nurses differ 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification or licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Memphis 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the West Memphis AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby West Memphis AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in West Memphis AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning 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 reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Considering CNA Classes Near West Memphis Arkansas?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the West Memphis AR area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
West Memphis, Arkansas
West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census, ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.
Native Americans lived in the Mississippi River Valley for at least 10,000 years, although much of the evidence of their presence has been buried or destroyed. The Indians of the Mississippian Period were the last native inhabitants of the West Memphis area. Mound City Road, located within the eastern portion of the West Memphis city limits, has a marker indicating that the villages of Aquixo (Aquijo) or Pacaha were in the area. Several mounds are still visible.
Explorers from both Spain and France visited the area near West Memphis. Among those explorers were Hernando de Soto and his men from Spain and Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet from France. By the time French hunters and explorers entered the region, the Mississippian towns and other settlements had been abandoned. The original site of West Memphis came from Spanish land grants issued during the 1790s. Grants were given to Benjamin Fooy, John Henry Fooy, and Isaac Fooy in the Hopefield (Crittenden County) area and to William McKenney in the Bridgeport-West Memphis area.
Pick the Right CNA Training Classes near West Memphis AR
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in West Memphis AR.
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