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Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Hamilton AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Hamilton AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Hamilton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Hamilton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.