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Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin 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 decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, 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 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Bessemer AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bessemer AL 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Bessemer AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.