How to Pick the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Chandler Arizona
Once 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 classes near Chandler AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the United States. Though it may seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you pick the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a program requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics along with several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about the kind of training 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Chandler AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain 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 suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Chandler AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Chandler AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges 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 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 favorable reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.