How to Select the Best CNA School Near Florence Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Florence AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it might seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you pick the ideal program to acquire the proper training and education. Many potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a school involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those topics as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Florence AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 minimum period of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Florence AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Florence AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all 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 find 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Florence AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Florence AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.