How to Select the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Auburn Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Auburn AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the Country. Though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's important that you choose the ideal course to obtain the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics along with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about the kind of training and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Auburn AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Auburn AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Auburn AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often 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. Many 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 an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Auburn 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Auburn AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Auburn AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.