How to Choose the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Foley Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Foley AL. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's imperative that you select the best school to receive the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course involves much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues together with various other questions that you should be asking before you register 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
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Foley AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Foley AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably 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 select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Foley AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 call some Foley 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Foley AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Foley AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.