How to Select the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Oro Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Oro Valley AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal program to receive the necessary training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Oro Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 Classes
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Oro Valley AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Oro Valley AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Oro Valley 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 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 Oro Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.