How to Enroll In the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Classes Near Anniston Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Anniston AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Though it may well seem like a challenging endeavor, it's imperative that you select the right program to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a program consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Anniston AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Anniston AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Anniston 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 vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Anniston 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Anniston AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Anniston AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.