How to Choose a CNA School near Kodiak Alaska
So you have decided to become a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant classes near Kodiak AK. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a complicated task, it’s important that you select the best CNA program to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before picking a CNA school requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects together with several other questions that you need to 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant in Kodiak AK
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Kodiak AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient’s vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Kodiak AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due 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 Kodiak AK do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to 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 growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing credential. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Kodiak AK healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit an education into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Kodiak AK as well as the expense of tuition are most likely 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 ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Kodiak 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 Kodiak 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 Kodiak 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 Kodiak 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 Kodiak 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 Kodiak 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 Kodiak 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 Kodiak 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 Kodiak AK?
Kodiak (Alutiiq: Sun'aq; Russian: Кадьяк, tr. Kadʹyak) is one of seven communities and the main city on Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2014 estimates put the population at 6,304.
After the Alaska Purchase by the United States in 1867, Kodiak became a commercial fishing center which continues to be the mainstay of its economy. A lesser economic influence includes tourism, mainly by those seeking outdoor adventure trips. Salmon, halibut, the unique Kodiak bear, elk, Sitka deer (black tail), and mountain goats attract hunting tourists as well as fishermen to the Kodiak Archipelago. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains an office in the city and a website to help hunters and fishermen obtain the proper permits and learn about the laws specific to the Kodiak area.
The city has four public elementary schools, a middle and high school, as well as a branch of the University of Alaska. An antenna farm at the summit of Pillar Mountain above the city historically provided communication with the outside world before fiber optic cable was run. Transportation to and from the island is provided by ferry service on the Alaska Marine Highway as well as local commercial airlines.
Pick the Right CNA Training near Kodiak AK
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college and program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select 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 Kodiak AK.
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