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Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium 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 criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Florence AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Florence AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.