How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Glendale 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 finding CNA classes near Glendale AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the best program to obtain the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those topics together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 sure 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 might be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Glendale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.