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Things to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Opp AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Opp 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 considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Opp AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified 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 Opp AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.