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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 online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as 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 Marana AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Marana AZ 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 colleges you are looking at 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Marana AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.