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Things to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Badger AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Badger AK 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 looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Badger AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Badger AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.