It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
What to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Apache Junction AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Apache Junction AZ 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 considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Apache Junction AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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 requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Apache Junction AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.