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What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. 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 pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, 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 standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Dothan 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Dothan AL 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.