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Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education and employment in the Opelika AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Opelika 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Opelika AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Opelika AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.