How to Pick a CNA College near Dothan 36301
Congrats regarding your decision to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training classes near Dothan AL. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a complicated task, it’s essential that you select the best school to receive the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let’s discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Dothan AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Reading patient’s vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Dothan AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 required to receive 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 minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are multiple degrees 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dothan AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education and employment in the Dothan AL 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 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification or licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Dothan AL 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Dothan AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Considering CNA Classes Near Dothan Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Dothan AL area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Dothan /ˈdoʊθən/ is a city in Dale, Henry, and Houston counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the largest city and county seat of Houston County, with a population of 65,496 at the 2010 census. It is located in the state's southeastern corner, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the Georgia state line and 16 miles (26 km) north of Florida. Its name derives from Genesis 37:17: "let us go to Dothan."
Dothan is the principal city of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties; the small portion that lies in Dale County is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The combined population for the entire Dothan metropolitan area in 2010 was 145,639. The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle. Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, with much of it being processed in the city, Dothan is sometimes referred to as "The Peanut Capital of the World". Dothan also hosts the annual National Peanut Festival at the dedicated "Peanut Festival Fairgrounds".
The area that is now Dothan was inhabited for thousands of years by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. In historic times it was occupied by the Alabama and Creek Native American tribes who were hunters and gatherers in the vast forests of pine that covered this region. These tribes had developed complex cultures, and often used to meet and camp for trading near a large spring at the crossroads of two trails.
Select the Right CNA Training Program near Dothan AL
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select 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 CNA in Dothan AL.
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