How to Select the Best Accredited CNA School 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 finding CNA training classes near Juneau AK. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the Country. Although it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's important that you select the ideal school to receive the proper training and education. A number of 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 pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about the type of training and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Courses
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. 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 pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 verify that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check 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 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Juneau AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- 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 specific 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 nearby Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.