How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Oxford Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Oxford AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you select the best program to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about the kind of training and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Oxford AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Oxford AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Oxford AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Oxford 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 colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Oxford AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Oxford AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.