How to Enroll In the Right Accredited CNA School Near Phenix City Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Phenix City AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it might seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the ideal school to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a school requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk 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 attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check 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 can be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Courses
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited 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.
Things to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location 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 stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Phenix City 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Phenix City 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 colleges you are considering 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Phenix City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.