Certified Nursing Assistant Training in Arkansas
In the field of healthcare, demand for services is growing consistently each year. As the population ages, needs more complex care, and moves into more comprehensive forms of assisted care, employers need healthcare providers who can work quickly and respect patient’s needs.
Becoming a nurse’s aide can help you get experience in healthcare, provide direct care to patients, and work with advanced healthcare professionals.
Learn more about training options by contacting CNA programs in Arkansas.
What is a CNA?
While learning about nurse assistant programs in Arkansas, it’s important to ensure that you know what the day-to-day work of a CNA involves. Nursing assistants report directly to nursing supervisors or registered nurses. You may spend a lot of your time feeding patients, preparing and administering medications, assisting clients with personal care and toiling, and keeping patients’ environments comfortable.
How Can I Become a Nurse Aide (CNA) in Arkansas?
Ready to take the plunge and start the path to CNA certification?
Get started by reaching out to nurse assistant training programs in your area.
You may be able to become a nursing assistant in a matter of weeks. That’s what sets this career path apart for many people. Instead of spending years on career training, you may become a CNA and get your foot in the door right away. With your certification, you can choose to further your education in the future or make a career out of CNA work.
What Kind of CNA Training Do I Need in Arkansas?
Arkansas has standard training requirements for nurse’s aides. There are training programs all over the state that can help you meet these expectations. While many are at two-year technical colleges and community colleges, there are also CNA programs at hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. On average, programs last between six and eight weeks.
Getting Into a Certified Nursing Assistant Program in Arkansas
Choosing the right school can help you begin your new career on the right foot. You may want to look into each school’s admissions requirements right away, since this may help you narrow down your list of potential programs. Across the board, nurse’s assistant training programs have practical, easy-to-reach admissions requirements.
Admissions Requirements in Arkansas
- High school diploma or GED
- No prior history of felonies
- Current immunizations
- English proficiency
- Negative drug test
- Negative TB two-step skin test
- Accuplacer results (only required at some schools)
Required Application Documents
- Authorization form for a background check
- Fingerprinting sheet
- Drug test authorization
- TB test results
- Application fee
- Proof of citizenship or legal residency
CNA Training in Arkansas
Once you get accepted to a nursing aide training program, it’s time to jump in and start building your practical skills. In Arkansas, CNA licensure is regulated by the Arkansas Office of Long Term Care. They require that all patient care tech applicants complete at least 90 hours of training.
Within your 90 hours, 16 hours are devoted to beginners’ skills and topics, while 74 hours are dedicated to Part II of your education. Part I focuses on communication and interpersonal skills, infection prevention, residents’ rights, standards of resident care, bed making, meal service, and caring for a resident’s environment.
After successfully completing this part of your education, you move on to Part II, which encompasses the units listed below.
CNA Classes in Arkansas
- Personal Care Skills
- Oral Hygiene and Grooming
- Dressing and Toileting
- Skin Care
- Transferring, Positioning, and Turning
- Use of Restraints
- Vital Signs
- Changes in Patient Behavior and Status
- Death and Dying
- Admission, Transfer, and Discharge
- Basic Restorative Services
By the time you get through your CNA classes in Arkansas, you should be ready to offer care to patients of different ages, medical backgrounds, and cognitive needs. You need a thorough understanding of theory to communicate with other healthcare personnel, but you need excellent hands-on skills to meet the needs of your patients. That’s why much of your time is spent on patient care.
CNA Certification as a Prerequisite for Nursing School in Arkansas
Some students pursue CNA certification in Arkansas because it is a requirement of many local nursing schools. Your nursing school may require certified nurse aide training because of the introduction it gives you to the world of nursing.
After completing a nursing assistant program, you should understand the physical and mental stresses of a career in nursing. With this knowledge, you may adjust to the fast-paced environment of healthcare institutions and become better prepared for a career in registered nursing.
You may also work part-time as a CNA while completing your nursing school degree. This may help you offset your educational expenses and get valuable clinical experience.
Paying for a CNA Program in Arkansas
Once you’ve selected a nurse assistant training program, you can start applying for financial aid. Some nurse’s aide programs do not qualify for federal financial aid, but others may qualify for loans and grants. This is often true for CNA training that is included in registered nursing programs.
You can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to find out if you receive any federal financial aid. The Department of Education has strict deadlines, so check deadlines early and submit your application as soon as possible. You may also want to look for scholarships through Peterson’s, a massive scholarship database with scholarships sorted by field of study, geographic location, and application requirements.
As an Arkansas resident, you may apply for nursing scholarships through the Arkansas Community Foundation. Some aid programs are based on financial need, while others use academic success as a determining factor. Check application requirements for each grant before filling out an application.
Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Arkansas
Once you’ve become a nurse’s assistant, you may be able to explore career options in many different work settings. You can use your time in healthcare facilities to improve your efficiency, learn about different nursing careers, and become more comfortable with different aspects of patient care.
CNA Requirements in Arkansas
You can start applying for certification after you have finished your certified nursing assistant education in Arkansas. All application documents go through the Arkansas Office of Long Term Care. They require proof of graduation from an approved program before they accept your application and allow you to schedule the Arkansas Nurse Aide Exam.
Once you pass the exam, you get an initial practice license. This is good for 24 months. After your initial 24-month licensure period, you must provide proof of eight hours of CNA work. You can then renew your license and continue working for another two years. All testing goes through Prometric, which determines testing fees and scheduling options.
Where are the Best CNA Jobs in Arkansas?
Arkansas has a complex network of nursing homes, hospitals, and home healthcare facilities that rely on the work of certified nurse aide graduates. While there are slight differences between work settings, they have a lot in common.
First, it’s important to be ready for a busy schedule that may change frequently. Most facilities require around-the-clock staffing, since residents and patients may need care at any time. Before you earn seniority, you may be required to spend a certain amount of time on evening and overnight shifts.
Many facilities have rotating holiday and weekend shifts. One benefit of holiday and weekend shifts is extra pay; not all employers offer premium pay for these shifts, but many do.
Work Settings for Nurse Aides
- Nursing homes and assisted living facilities
- Specialty clinics
- Rehabilitation clinics
- VA facilities
- Emergency rooms
- Group homes
- Developmental disability day programming centers
- TBI treatment facilities
Common Hiring Expectations for CNAs
- Current placement on the nurse’s aide registry
- Completion of an approved program
- Ability to pass a physical exam
- Ability to work for 8 to 12 hours at one time
- Ability to handle difficult medical situations
- Flexibility in working with other healthcare professionals
What Does a Nursing Assistant Do in Arkansas?
If you’re new to healthcare, you may need to adjust to the protocols of this field in your first days as a patient care tech. Every part of the healthcare industry is supposed to work seamlessly with other aspects of practice and administration. As a CNA, you may be the patient’s first line of contact.
Nursing assistants are responsible for many of the routine tasks that are included in patient care, such as feeding, dressing, and bathing. However, you are limited by the legal boundaries of nurse assisting work. If you take on additional patient care responsibilities that go beyond your training, you may be working outside your scope of practice.
The Arkansas Office of Long Term Care sets the scope of practice for nurse assistants, and you must stay within this scope throughout the entirety of your career.
Certified Nursing Aide Duties
- Interact independently with residents
- Implement patient care protocols and objectives
- Take care of patients’ medical, mental, and physical health needs under the supervision of a nurse
- Promote residents’ rights and independence
- Assess patients and report changes to nurses
How Much Does a CNA Make in Arkansas?
While salary averages can give you an idea of how much you may make in Arkansas, it’s important to note that salaries differ quite a bit between employers, geographic areas, and work environments. The more experience you have in a specific setting, the more you may be able to influence your income.
On average, nursing assistants in Arkansas earn $22,070 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). In eastern Arkansas, the average salary is slightly higher, at $22,190 annually (BLS, 2017). CNAs in Hot Springs claim an average income of $23,560 per year (BLS, 2017). The mean income in Little Rock is $24,140 (BLS, 2017). The job outlook is positive for nursing assistants, with an expected 18% increase in job openings between 2014 and 2024 (BLS, 2017).
Important CNA Resources in Arkansas
- Arkansas Health Care Association
- National Network of Career Nursing Assistants
- National Association of Health Care Assistants
CNA training programs in Arkansas may give you a good first step in your career, but you need to keep working to build your professional network over the course of your career. Healthcare standards are always evolving in response to new laws and research.
With connections in local and national healthcare associations, you may stay on top of industry changes and keep your skills up-to-date. Joining local associations may also help you if you decide to pursue a nursing degree in the future. Your connections may help you find a nursing school that fits your needs.
With the right nursing assisting training in Arkansas, you may get the education you need to make patients’ lives easier. Patients heal not just because of the medical care they receive, but because of the caring environment that they recuperate in.
The sooner you start your training and learn how to meet patient care standards, the more quickly you may become certified and begin working in Arkansas.