It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. 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 selection compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the Trussville AL area, it may help 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Trussville 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Trussville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Trussville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.