How to Choose a CNA Program near Homer Alaska
So you have decided to practice as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training classes near Homer AK. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the Country. Although it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it’s imperative that you choose the right CNA school to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a CNA program involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start 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 Nursing Assistant in Homer AK
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Homer AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking 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 Homer 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 the majority of people accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants in Homer AK do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have 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 specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing credential. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Homer AK healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit an education into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Homer AK along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Homer 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 Homer 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 Homer 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 Homer 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 Homer 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 Homer 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 Homer 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 Homer 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 Homer AK?
Homer is a city located in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 218 miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003. Long known as The "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is also nicknamed "the end of the road," and more recently, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea."
Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mi (7.2 km)) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58 km2), of which 10.6 square miles (27 km2) is land and 11.9 square miles (31 km2) is water. The total area is 52.83% water.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training Classes near Homer AK
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select a CNA school and program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical 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 final selection. And with the proper training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Homer AK.
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