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Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Rio Rico AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Rio Rico AZ 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Rio Rico AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Rio Rico AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.