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What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Pell City AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Pell City 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 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Pell City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Pell City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.