How to Select the Best Accredited CNA Training Program Near Prichard Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Prichard AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you select the ideal program to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before picking a school requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about the type of training and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Prichard AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Prichard AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that 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 choices. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Prichard AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet 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 find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Prichard 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Prichard AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified 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 Prichard AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.