How to Choose a CNA Program near Smackover Arkansas
So you have decided to become a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training classes near Smackover AR. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the Country. Although it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it’s essential that you select the ideal CNA program to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many future 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 program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a CNA training course consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics as well as various other questions that you need to 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 instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant in Smackover AR
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Smackover AR 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 perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Smackover AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA’s knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants in Smackover AR do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing credential. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Smackover AR healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit an education into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Nursing Training Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Smackover AR and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Smackover 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 Smackover 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 Smackover 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 Smackover 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 Smackover 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 Smackover 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 Smackover 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 Smackover 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 Smackover AR?
Smackover is a small city in northern Union County, Arkansas, United States. According to Citydata.com, the 2014 population was at 1,790. It had a large oil boom in the 1920s, with production continuing for some time.
In 1686, the French settlers called this area "SUMAC COUVERT", which translates to "covered in sumac bushes". This was transliterated, that is, phonetically Anglicized by the English-speaking settlers of the 19th century and later to the name "SMACKOVER."
Oil was discovered in this area in 1922; it attracted national attention, speculators, and an economic boom. Smackover was incorporated in 1923. In the 1920s there was a large-scale oil industry in Smackover. The industry declined here and across southern Arkansas by the 1960s, at a cost of many jobs and major losses to the area economy.
Choose the Right CNA School near Smackover AR
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select a CNA college and program that are each 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 right training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Smackover AR.
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