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How to Choose the Best Accredited CNA Program Near Prescott Valley Arizona

Prescott Valley Arizona CNA reviewing patient file with NurseOnce you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Prescott Valley AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the USA. Though it may seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you pick the right course to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a school consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about the kind of training and credentials that are available.

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Prescott Valley Arizona Nursing Assistant with senior woman in nursing home

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Prescott Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 training is state certified. 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 requirements as well.

CNA Online Classes

Prescott Valley Arizona young female student taking CNA classes onlineEnrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Prescott Valley AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.

  • 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. 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 Prescott 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

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