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Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Sierra Vista AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Sierra Vista AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Sierra Vista AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Sierra Vista AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.