How to Find the Right CNA Program near Huntington Beach California
So you have decided to become a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant classes near Huntington Beach CA. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may well seem like a challenging task, it’s essential that you pick the best CNA program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a CNA school requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register 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 offered.
The Job of a CNA in Huntington Beach CA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Huntington Beach CA hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic care 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
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Huntington Beach CA nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA’s knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants in Huntington Beach CA do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained 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, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing credential. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Huntington Beach CA healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit an education into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Nursing Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Huntington Beach CA as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Huntington Beach CA 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 Huntington Beach CA, make sure that it complies with the certification requirements for California 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 Huntington Beach CA 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. California 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 Huntington Beach CA 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 Huntington Beach CA 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 Huntington Beach CA 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 Huntington Beach CA 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 Huntington Beach CA, 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 Huntington Beach CA?
Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in Southern California. The city is named after American businessman Henry E. Huntington. The population was 189,992 during the 2010 census, making it the most populous beach city in Orange County and the seventh most populous city in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its estimated 2014 population was 200,809. It is bordered by Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Area on the west, the Pacific Ocean on the southwest, by Seal Beach on the northwest, by Westminster on the north, by Fountain Valley on the northeast, by Costa Mesa on the east, and by Newport Beach on the southeast.
Huntington Beach (locally initialized "HB") is known for its long 9.5-mile (15.3 km) stretch of sandy beach, mild climate, excellent surfing, and beach culture. The ocean waves are enhanced by a natural effect caused by the edge-diffraction of open ocean swells around Santa Catalina Island. Swells generated predominantly from the North Pacific in winter and from a combination of Southern Hemisphere storms and hurricanes in the summer focus on Huntington Beach, creating consistent surf all year long, hence the nickname "Surf City".
The area was originally occupied by the Tongva people. European settlement can be traced to a Spanish soldier, Manuel Nieto, who in 1784 received a Spanish land grant of 300,000 acres (1,200 km2), Rancho Los Nietos, as a reward for his military service and to encourage settlement in Alta California. Nieto's western area was reduced in 1790 because of a dispute with the Mission San Gabriel, but he retained thousands of acres stretching from the hills north of Whittier, Fullerton and Brea, south to the Pacific Ocean, and from today's Los Angeles River on the west, to the Santa Ana River on the east.
Select the Right CNA Training Program near Huntington Beach CA
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select a CNA school and program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 appropriate training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Huntington Beach CA.
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