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How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Scottsdale Arizona

Scottsdale Arizona Nursing Assistant reviewing patient file with RNOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Scottsdale AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's imperative that you choose the best school to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential 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 at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those topics along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

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Scottsdale Arizona Nursing Assistant with senior woman in nursing home

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Courses

Scottsdale Arizona young woman student taking CNA courses onlineAttending CNA training online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Scottsdale AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

What to Ask CNA Courses

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers 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 decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 make sure that you obtain a quality 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 vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out 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 assessments 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Scottsdale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Scottsdale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

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