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Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably 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 before making your ultimate decision, 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Sun City AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain 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 preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Sun City 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 programs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Sun City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Sun City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.