How to Pick a CNA Program near Lake Havasu City 86403
Good luck regarding your decision to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant courses near Lake Havasu City AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a daunting task, it’s important that you pick the best course to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before picking a training course consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, 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 CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring 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 areas
CNAs can also work in Lake Havasu City AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, 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 attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Lake Havasu City AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification or licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. 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 too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Lake Havasu City AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Considering CNA Classes Near Lake Havasu City Arizona?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 52,527 people. It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County and is the southernmost community of the Las Vegas–Henderson, NV–AZ combined statistical area.
The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six". during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island".
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
Select the Right CNA School near Lake Havasu City AZ
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Lake Havasu City AZ.
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Prior Experience. While many CNA positions do not require prior professional experience beyond the required training hours set by the state nursing board, a nursing assistant may make a higher starting salary if he or she has some previous healthcare experience, for example as a candy striper or volunteer at a local hospital.
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High school students may secure free CNA training through health education programs, and youths between the ages of 17 and 24 can contact the local Job Corps for free training in their area. The American Red Cross provides quality training in many chapters across the United States and provides scholarship opportunities to qualifying students.