How to Enroll In the Best Accredited CNA Training Program Near Florence Arizona
Now 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 Florence AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the ideal course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before picking a school consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects along with a few 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 available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Florence AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Florence AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Florence AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 speak with some Florence 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 schools you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Florence AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Florence AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.