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What to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if 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 realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Florence AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Florence AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Florence AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.