There is a good demand for licensed nursing professionals in the state of Arkansas. Hence, many young high school graduates are stepping into the field of nursing to start their long-term career.
For becoming licensed professional nurse, one has to take professional training and before that; one has to go through a stepping stone of CNA. Certified nursing assistant is considered as the very first step of the nursing career and as the name suggests, they are certified to assist the senior nurses and doctors.
Certified nursing assistants are also called as ‘Personal Care Aides’. They work as front liners in various nursing homes, hospitals, health care centers, convalescent homes, elderly care homes, long-term care centers, etc.
As there is a high demand for such nursing assistants in the state, the number of training classes for the same is also significantly higher.
In this state, people become certified nursing aides for various reasons.
Some find the work enjoyable and enough paying, some really want to work for the disables in their times of suffering, some get a fair living and satisfaction of mind from that work; while some enter this field because they want to pursue further education in nursing and working as a certified nursing assistant serves as a beneficial step for them.
The most important plus point of the certified nursing assistant training’s is that they are of very short duration and one can become a nursing professional by taking just a simple training course.
One can get the names of schools and facilities offering CNA programs available on the online dictionary provided by the state of Arkansas. This makes taking classes more easy and convenient.
Overview of CNA Training in Arkansas
One who is a high school graduate can become a certified nursing aide by passing the nursing exam.
To appear for this exam, one has to attend and accomplish first a training program for the same.
The classes can be taken either for free or paid ones. There are certain variations however, between the paid and free classes.
Paid programs last for about 102-175 hours depending upon the requirement of the region and the students. The free classes last for only 40-60 hours; usually for a week.
Free ones are usually conducted by very few institutions, as free classes mostly do not meet the standard requirements of the state nursing board.
Ideally the CNA training must comprise of 175 hours, of which 75 hours are allotted to classroom sessions and 100 hours are allotted to practical sessions.
Classroom sessions cover all the technical or theoretical aspects of nursing and in practical sessions, the students are subjected with clinical hands-on training.
The technical course work includes
- Basic science
- Anatomy and physiology
- Infection control
- Patient care and basic safety
- Personal hygiene
- Health education and population education
- Patient’s rights, etc.
Practical sessions include practicing all the clinical tasks that are to be performed by certified nursing assistants.
- Feeding patients
- Providing them with medication as per the prescription
- Bathing and grooming the patients
- Relocating them whenever required
- Maintaining their hygiene and safety
- Taking vital signs
- Keeping record of patient’s health and reporting their health status to the doctors, etc.
Theses nursing aides also have to work as the communicators between the patients and doctors.
The training program prepares the students for challenging and responsible tasks of CNAs. Once they are trained and skilled in the same, they have to appear for the state approved exam.
This exam has 2 parts – technical and practical.
Both the tests evaluate the students based on their theoretical knowledge as well as clinical hands-on skills. This is called as the competency test and is evaluated by the course instructors as well as senior supervising nurses.
As compared to other states, the exam conducted in this state is quite unique. It gives 2 options to the students to choose between. They can appear for the written test or an oral test along with the skill test which is compulsory.
When the students pass this exam successfully, they obtain their certification from the state nursing authority. This enables them to apply for the license.
CNA Reciprocity in Arkansas
Arkansas nurse aide registry has all the record regarding status of working of certified nursing aides in the state along with their background records.
The state also accepts other state’s qualified / certified / licensed nursing assistants, provided that they get their credentials transferred to this state. This procedure requires a letter of OLTC (of long-term care) approval.
The cost of certified personal care aide programs include the fees for course material, uniforms, shoes, exam fees, graduation charges, transcript payment, etc.
For those who cannot afford to pay for the cost, the state of Arkansas announces scholarship and sponsorship programs. They can get their education through such programs and pursue further education or career. Such students are just supposed to keep their academic record good enough so as to maintain a good level of grades.
Taking the training courses for becoming a certified nurse is a good choice for the students, as there is a significant demand for certified personal care aides in the state.