How to Select a CNA Program near Bigelow Arkansas
So you have decided to become a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training classes near Bigelow AR. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a difficult endeavor, it’s essential that you choose the best CNA course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential 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 course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a CNA school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects along with several 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant in Bigelow AR
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Bigelow AR hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring patient’s vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient’s health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Bigelow AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA’s expertise can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants in Bigelow AR do not have 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 instruction can take anywhere from one 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Degrees
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing credential. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Bigelow AR healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit an education into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential 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 relative to Bigelow AR along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Bigelow AR 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 Bigelow AR, make sure that it complies with the certification requirements for Arkansas 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 Bigelow AR 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. Arkansas 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 Bigelow AR 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 Bigelow AR 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 Bigelow AR 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 Bigelow AR 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 Bigelow AR, 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 Bigelow AR?
Bigelow is a town in Perry County, Arkansas, United States. Located in Central Arkansas near the confluence of the Fourche La Fave River and Arkansas River, the community was incorporated in 1905 as Esau. Based largely on the timber industry, the town grew until the lumber mills were closed in 1920. The population was 329 at the 2000 census.
Bigelow did not exist by its current name until 1911, as it was formerly known as "Esau"—a community a few miles southwest of the present Toadsuck Ferry Bridge that grew to border the edge of the small town of Fourche. In 1911, Fourche River Mill owner, N.P. Bigelow, built an elaborate white house of the best lumber on a hill above the town. He was elected mayor, and then gained permission from the state's General Assembly to change the name of Esau to Bigelow. It was at one time the biggest town in the county; a vote was taken to move the county seat from Perryville to Bigelow, Bigelow won the vote, but the move was never made.
As of the census of 2000, there were 329 people, 127 households, and 91 families residing in the town. The population density was 391.5 inhabitants per square mile (151.2/km²). There were 144 housing units at an average density of 171.3 per square mile (66.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.57% White, 0.61% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 0.61% Asian, and 0.30% from two or more races. 2.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right CNA Course near Bigelow AR
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Bigelow AR.
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