How to Find the Right CNA Training Program Near Glendale Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Glendale AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the United States. Although it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's important that you pick the best school to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a training course consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about the type of training and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Glendale AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental 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). So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things 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 see how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Glendale 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 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.