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Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Gateway AK area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many 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 excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Gateway AK 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Gateway AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Gateway AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.