How to Enroll In a CNA Classes near Alton Illinois
So you have decided to become a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant classes near Alton IL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may seem like a challenging undertaking, it’s imperative that you select the right CNA program to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a CNA program entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those issues as well as a few 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 type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant in Alton IL
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Alton IL hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Alton IL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they can become the channel 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 preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants in Alton IL do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing credential. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Alton IL healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited. So if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit an education into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Alton IL along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Alton IL 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 Alton IL, make sure that it complies with the certification requirements for Illinois 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 Alton IL 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. Illinois 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 Alton IL 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 Alton IL 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 Alton IL 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 Alton IL 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 Alton IL, 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 Alton IL?
Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15 miles (24 km) north of St. Louis, Missouri. The population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. It is famous for its limestone bluffs along the river north of the city, for its role preceding and during the American Civil War, and as the hometown of jazz musician Miles Davis and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history. It was the site of the last Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in October 1858. The former state penitentiary here was used during the war to hold up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners of war.
Although Alton once was growing faster than its sister city of St. Louis, a coalition of St. Louis businessmen planned to build a competing town to stop its expansion and bring business to St. Louis. The result was Grafton, Illinois.
Many blocks of housing in Alton were built in the Victorian Queen Anne style; they represent a prosperous period in the river city's history. At the top of the hill in the commercial area, several stone churches and a fine city hall also represent the city's wealth during its good times based on river traffic and shipping. It was a commercial center for a large agricultural area. Numerous residences on hills have sweeping views of the Mississippi River.
Enroll in the Right CNA School near Alton IL
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and program that are both accredited and have exceptional 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 ultimate selection. And with the proper training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Alton IL.
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