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Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Mountain Brook AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Mountain Brook 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 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Mountain Brook AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Mountain Brook AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.