How to Enroll In the Best Accredited CNA School Near Fountain Hills Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Fountain Hills AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the United States. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's essential that you pick the right course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Fountain Hills AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimal amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Fountain Hills AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Fountain Hills AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fountain Hills 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 considering 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 displeased 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 Fountain Hills AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Fountain Hills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.