How to Choose a CNA School near Elmendorf Afb Alaska
So you have decided to practice as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training classes near Elmendorf Afb AK. Once you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it might seem like a difficult undertaking, it’s imperative that you select the best CNA school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of future 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 course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a CNA school consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those subjects 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA in Elmendorf Afb AK
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Elmendorf Afb AK hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Elmendorf Afb AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA’s expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants in Elmendorf Afb AK do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length 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 required to receive 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 amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing credential. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Elmendorf Afb AK healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit an education into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Nursing Training Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Elmendorf Afb AK as well as 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 sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Elmendorf Afb AK school and program that you enroll in is accredited. One of the more highly regarded accrediting authorities is the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). CNA schools and programs that have been accredited by the NLNAC are guaranteed to not only provide a quality education but to be state approved as well. Earning a certificate or diploma from an accredited school is also more likely to be credited towards a more advanced nursing degree at another accredited school. And finally, accreditation makes your training more valuable in the job market.
Is the CNA course state approved? Before enrolling in a training course near Elmendorf Afb AK, make sure that it complies with the certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. It should not only satisfy the minimum federal requirement of 75 hours, 16 of which must be clinical training, but any additional state requirements as well. As previously mentioned, if the CNA course is accredited by NLNAC it will be guaranteed to be state approved.
What is the Pass Rate for the State Exam? It’s preferable to enroll in a nursing assistant school near Elmendorf Afb AK with a pass rate for the state licensing exam of at least 75% for its graduates. If fewer than 75% are passing, it may be an indication that the curriculum and/or the instructors are not effectively training the students. Alaska posts a list of state CNA schools with their state licensing exam pass rates.
Is there an Internship Program? Find out if the schools you are considering sponsor internships with Elmendorf Afb AK healthcare facilities. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical experience not available in a classroom or lab setting. As an additional benefit, they can help students establish relationships within the local medical community. They also look good on resumes. Also check to see if tutoring is available as needed. Other options may include an internet school forum or chat room where students can ask questions and share knowledge.
Is there a Job Placement Program? A job placement program can be of great assistance to a graduating student in finding that first nursing position. Find out how many students are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school. If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s a confirmation that its reputation within the Elmendorf Afb AK medical community is exemplary. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Where is the school located? The campus will need to be within driving distance of your Elmendorf Afb AK residence unless you are able to relocate. If you enroll in an online program, find out where the clinical portion of your training is available. If a school has an internship program, most likely the placements will be within its local area. Also keep in mind that if you enroll in an out-of-state school, or even out of area for many community colleges, the tuition costs as a non-resident may be higher.
How large are the classes? Ask the schools you are considering on average how large their classes are. Smaller classes usually provide more access to teachers when students have questions or need extra help. In contrast, larger classes tend to be more impersonal and limit one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of the classes before enrolling so that you can experience the level of interaction between students and instructors.
What is the Program’s total cost? CNA training and tuition can vary not only among schools, but from state to state depending on certification requirements. In addition to tuition, there are other costs such as commuting expenses, textbooks and other materials. When comparing schools remember to include all costs required for your education. If you do decide to attend an online school, some of the expenses may be reduced. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available in the Elmendorf Afb AK area.
Can the Program accommodate your Schedule? Finally, you will need to make sure that the program you select offers classes at a time that you can attend. If you are still working and need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Elmendorf Afb AK, make sure they are available. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend classes online, you will still need to confirm when clinical training hours are offered. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or other obligations.
Considering CNA Classes near Elmendorf Afb AK?
Structure of the United States Armed Forces
The chain of command leads from the President (as commander-in-chief) through the Secretary of Defense down to the newest recruits. The United States armed forces are organized through the United States Department of Defense, which oversees a complex structure of joint command and control functions with many units reporting to various commanding officers. The following is an incomplete list of the various major military units, commands, and DOD offices and agencies, including civilian and military chains of command.
Pick the Right CNA School near Elmendorf Afb AK
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick a CNA school and program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Elmendorf Afb AK.
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