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How to Find the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Chandler Arizona

Chandler Arizona Nursing Assistant reviewing patient file with RNNow that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Chandler AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the USA. Although it might seem like a complicated task, it's important that you select the ideal course to acquire the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

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CNA Programs

Chandler Arizona Nursing Assistant with senior female patient in assisted living facility

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Chandler AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 other requirements as well.

CNA Online Schools

Chandler Arizona young female student taking CNA training onlineEnrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Chandler AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask CNA Colleges

Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors 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 see 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 ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Chandler AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Chandler 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

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