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Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education and employment in the Alabaster AL 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 vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services 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 Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Alabaster AL 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 schools you are considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Alabaster AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Alabaster AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.