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Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education and employment in the Irondale AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Irondale AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 dissatisfied 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 Irondale AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Irondale AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.