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What to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Mesa AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Mesa 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 displeased 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 Mesa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Mesa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.