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Things to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Sierra Vista AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Sierra Vista AZ 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 schools you are looking at 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Sierra Vista AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Sierra Vista AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.