How to Select the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Program Near Chandler Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Chandler AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you select the right program to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence before picking a school involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics together with several 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Chandler AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Courses
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction 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 call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Chandler AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Chandler AZ 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 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 good reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.