How to Choose a CNA College near Ashland 36251
Congratulations regarding your decision to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant classes near Ashland AL. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it’s important that you select the right program to receive the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a training course involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let’s discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Ashland AL hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient’s vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient’s health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Ashland AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA’s expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Ashland AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 required to have 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 period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 might be other prerequisites 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Ashland AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Ashland AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing criteria 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification or licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Ashland 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 colleges you are considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Ashland AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Ashland AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Ashland AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue 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 Ashland Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Ashland AL area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Clay County was formed by an act of the Alabama General Assembly on December 7, 1866. Less than a year later, Ashland was established as the county seat on land donated by Hollingsworth Watts for the construction of a courthouse. Ashland was incorporated in 1871 and was named for 19th century statesman Henry Clay's Kentucky estate home.
During the early years, the town grew very rapidly. The town continued to grow with the opening of Alabama's first graphite mine in 1899. When World War I ended, the market for graphite dropped drastically, thus ending the town's growth phase.
The 1930s brought the Great Depression and boll weevil to Ashland that destroyed the cotton industry. Farmers were forced to abandon what had been the community's major industry. Timber, poultry, and cabinet making became the dominant industries by the beginning of the 21st century.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training Program near Ashland AL
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate 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 Ashland AL.
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