How to Enroll In the Best CNA College Near Scottsdale Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Scottsdale AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in health care within the United States. Although it might seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you select the right program to receive the necessary training and education. Many potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a school requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about the type of training and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Scottsdale AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Scottsdale AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Scottsdale AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ 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 meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Scottsdale AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges 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 favorable reputation within the Scottsdale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Scottsdale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.