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Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Selma AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Selma 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Selma AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Selma AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.