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Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Bessemer AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bessemer AL 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Bessemer AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.