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What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alaska 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 site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 verify that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Fairbanks AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fairbanks AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Fairbanks AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.