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What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. 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 schools.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Smiths Station AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Some states require a certain 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 comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Smiths Station 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 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Smiths Station AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Smiths Station AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.