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What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Fountain Hills AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain 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 preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fountain Hills AZ 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Fountain Hills AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Fountain Hills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.