How to Select a CNA School near Russellville 35653
Best wishes regarding your decision to practice as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant classes near Russellville AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it’s essential that you pick the right school to receive the proper training and education. Many potential 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 course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a school involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let’s talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Russellville AL hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care 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
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Russellville AL 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 identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA’s knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Russellville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Russellville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 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 generally 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.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things 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 see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 receive an excellent education and employment in the Russellville AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing criteria for nurses are different 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification or licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Russellville AL 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 finish 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Russellville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Russellville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Russellville AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Considering CNA Classes Near Russellville Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Russellville AL area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Russellville is a city in Franklin County in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,830, up from 8,971 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Franklin County.
After the War of 1812, the U.S. government appropriated money to improve a route from Nashville to New Orleans. It was named Jackson's Military Road after Andrew Jackson, and it passed through what became Russellville. (Present-day Jackson Avenue and Jackson Highway, U.S. Route 43, follow portions of the original road.)
Russellville is named after Major William Russell, an early settler in the area who helped in the construction of Jackson's Military Road. The town grew at this road's intersection with the Gaines Trace.
Choose the Right CNA Training Classes near Russellville AL
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Russellville AL.
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