How to Choose a CNA School near Seward 99664
Best wishes on your decision to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training near Seward AK. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Although it might seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it’s important that you pick the ideal school to obtain the proper training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most essential 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 course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those issues together with a few other questions that you need to 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 offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Seward AK hospitals, practices and other health 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Seward AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA’s knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Seward AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Seward AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Seward AK area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing criteria 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification or licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online 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. Also, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Seward AK 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Seward AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Seward AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Seward AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Considering CNA Classes Near Seward Alaska?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Seward AK area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Seward (Alutiiq: Qutalleq) is an incorporated home rule city in Alaska, United States. Located on Resurrection Bay, a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is situated on Alaska's southern coast, approximately 120 miles by road from Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, and nearly 1,300 miles from the closest point in the contiguous United States at Cape Flattery, Washington.
With an estimated permanent population of 2,831 people as of 2017, Seward is the fourth-largest city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, behind Kenai, Homer, and the borough seat of Soldotna. The city is named for former U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, who orchestrated the United States' purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867 while serving in this position as part of President Andrew Johnson's administration.
Seward is the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad and the historic starting point of the original Iditarod Trail to the Alaskan interior, with Mile 0 of the trail marked on the shoreline at the southern end of town.
Choose the Right CNA Program near Seward AK
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Seward AK.
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