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Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Oro Valley AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Oro Valley AZ 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 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 Oro Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.