How to Choose the Best Accredited CNA School Near Fountain Hills 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 classes near Fountain Hills AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Though it may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the ideal school to obtain the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those subjects along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Fountain Hills AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 instruction, 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 that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Fountain Hills AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential 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 along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Fountain Hills AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all 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 check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Fountain Hills 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 programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Fountain Hills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Fountain Hills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.