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Questions to Ask CNA Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense 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 prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Tuscaloosa AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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.  Certain 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 Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet 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. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Tuscaloosa AL 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 schools you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.