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Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Eagle River AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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.  Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Eagle River AK 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 colleges 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 good reputation within the Eagle River AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually 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. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.