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What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements 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 agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Goodyear 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 schools 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 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 favorable reputation within the Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.