How to Select a CNA Training Program near Alabaster 35007
Good luck on your decision to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training near Alabaster AL. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it’s important that you pick the best course to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program 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 topics as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, 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 CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Alabaster AL hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, 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
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Alabaster AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA’s knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike 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 Alabaster AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options to choose from to become a nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Alabaster AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. 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 selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Alabaster AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification and Licensing Preparation. Certification and Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet 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 assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Alabaster 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 colleges you are considering 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 Alabaster AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Alabaster AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Alabaster AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Considering CNA Classes Near Alabaster Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Alabaster AL area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Alabaster is a city and southern suburb of Birmingham in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 30,352. According to the 2013 Census Estimates, the city had a population of 31,342. Alabaster is the 16th largest city in Alabama by number of residents.
Alabaster mostly occupies the Cahaba and Opossum Valleys, which are divided by the Pine Ridge that runs north to south. To the east and west, both valleys are flanked by parallel mountain ridges that locally run north to south, but are a part of a larger system of ridges that generally runs north-east to south-west (the tailing ends of the Appalachian foothills). The valleys are drained by small creeks (Buck Creek, Beaverdam Creek) which flow into the Cahaba River.
George L. Scott, Sr., an Alabaster pioneer, owned and operated Alabaster Lime Co. His shipping point was known as “Scott Rock.” Later, housing was built to accommodate some of the employees, and the community acquired its name Alabaster from the "white calcium carbonate mineral." The First Bank of Alabaster opened in 1952, and its president was George L. Scott, Jr., who later became the first mayor of Alabaster. The first attempt in 1952 to incorporate Alabaster failed. In January 1953, the petition was again filed, and on February 23, 1953, Alabaster was officially incorporated with a favorable vote of 79 to 23, and 427 residing inhabitants. In 1955, the Alabaster Water and Gas Board was formed.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training near Alabaster AL
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Alabaster AL.
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