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Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Fairbanks AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fairbanks AK 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 programs 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 good reputation within the Fairbanks AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.