How to Enroll In a CNA College near Huntsville 35801
Congrats on your decision to practice as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training classes near Huntsville AL. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it’s important that you pick the right school to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a training course requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let’s discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Huntsville AL hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient’s vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA’s knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Huntsville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Huntsville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 might 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Huntsville AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing prerequisites 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification or licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 Huntsville 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Huntsville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Huntsville AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental 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). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Considering CNA Classes Near Huntsville Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Huntsville AL area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County and south into Morgan County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census. Huntsville is the third-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was 417,593 in 2010 to become the 2nd largest in Alabama. Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014.
It grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.
The first settlers of the area were Muscogee-speaking people. The Chickasaw traditionally claim to have settled around 1300 after coming east across the Mississippi. A combination of factors, including depopulation due to disease, land disputes between the Choctaw and Cherokee, and pressures from the United States government had largely depopulated the area prior to 1805. That year Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt settled in the land around the Big Spring. The 1805 Treaty with the Chickasaws and the Cherokee Treaty of Washington of 1806 ceded native claims to the United States Government. The area was subsequently purchased by LeRoy Pope, who named the area Twickenham after the home village of his distant kinsman Alexander Pope.
Enroll in the Right CNA College near Huntsville AL
Picking the best certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Huntsville AL.
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