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How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Glendale Arizona

Glendale Arizona Nursing Assistant going over patient file with RNOnce you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Glendale AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's essential that you pick the best school to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.

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CNA Training

Glendale Arizona CNA with senior female patient in assisted living facility

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Glendale AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Programs

Glendale Arizona young female student taking CNA classes onlineEnrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. 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). So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

What to Ask CNA Colleges

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many 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 workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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.  Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 Glendale 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

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