How to Choose the Best CNA Program Near Juneau Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Juneau AK. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Although it may well seem like a difficult undertaking, it's important that you choose the best program to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a training course entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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 completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Juneau AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.