How to Find the Right CNA Program near Mena Arkansas
So you have decided to work as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training near Mena AR. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the United States. Though it may seem like a difficult endeavor, it’s important that you choose the best CNA program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a CNA training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics as well as a few other questions that you should 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 kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a CNA in Mena AR
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Mena AR hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Mena AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants in Mena AR do not need to attain 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 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing credential. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Mena AR healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited 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 Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and 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 within Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Mena AR along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Mena 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 Mena 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 Mena 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 Mena 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 Mena 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 Mena 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 Mena 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 Mena 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 Mena AR?
Mena was founded by Arthur Edward Stilwell during the building of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (now the Kansas City Southern), which stretched from Kansas City, Missouri to Port Arthur, Texas. Train service to Mena began in 1896.
Stilwell named the town in honor of Folmina Margaretha Janssen-De Goeijen, the wife of his friend and financier Jan De Goeijen, whom Mr. De Goeijen affectionately called Mena. Janssen Park in the center of Mena is also named for her.
In 1901, a black man, Peter Berryman, was lynched after an alleged altercation with a white girl. No one was arrested for the crime. Several other instances of racially motivated hate and violence towards Mena's black community had been noted. This, combined with declining job prospects after the railway shops left town, led many blacks to leave Mena. By 1910, just 16 remained.
Select the Right CNA Course near Mena AR
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Mena AR.
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