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Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Helena AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Helena 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Helena AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Helena AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.