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How to Find the Right Accredited CNA Course Near Foley Alabama

Foley Alabama CNA reviewing patient file with RNOnce 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 training classes near Foley AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you choose the right course to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a program consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

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CNA Training

Foley Alabama CNA with senior female patient in assisted living facility

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Foley 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

Online CNA Training

Foley Alabama young woman student taking CNA classes onlineAttending CNA programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Foley AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Courses

Now that you have determined 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 begin 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 reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Foley AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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.  Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Foley AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Foley AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

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