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Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Alabaster AL area, it may help in securing 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 completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Alabaster AL 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Alabaster AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Alabaster AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.