How to Select the Right CNA Training Program Near Phenix City Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Phenix City AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the Country. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the best program to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a training course entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those issues as well as various 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 type of training and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as 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 Programs
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more preferred way to receive 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 virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start 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 essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify 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 available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. 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 call some Phenix City 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 programs 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 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 Phenix City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.