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Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin 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 important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Maricopa AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Maricopa 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Maricopa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.