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How to Choose the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Drexel Heights Arizona

Drexel Heights Arizona Nursing Assistant going over patient chart with NurseNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Drexel Heights AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Although it might seem like a challenging endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those topics together with a few 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.

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CNA Programs

Drexel Heights Arizona Nursing Assistant with senior female patient in assisted living facility

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Drexel Heights AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial 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 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

Online CNA Programs

Drexel Heights Arizona young woman student enrolled in CNA training onlineEnrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Drexel Heights AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Schools

Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Drexel Heights AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Drexel Heights 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 schools 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 dissatisfied 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 Drexel Heights AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective 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 prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

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