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Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have decided on 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 many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Selma AL area, it may assist in securing 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 comply with the minimum certification standards 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 considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch 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 Selma 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 colleges you are looking at 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 Selma AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Selma AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.