How to Select the Best CNA Training Program Near Juneau Alaska
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Juneau AK. After you have earned your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's important that you select the best program to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a program entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Juneau 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 schools 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 displeased 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 Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.