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Things to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education and employment in the Prichard AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Certain states require a specified 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 comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Prichard AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Prichard AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Prichard AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.