How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Prattville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Prattville AL. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the United States. Although it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you select the ideal course to receive the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a program entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, 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
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Prattville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Courses
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Prattville AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount 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 answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Prattville AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check 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 Prattville 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Prattville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Prattville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.