|Conway||Fayetteville||Fort Smith||Hot Springs|
|Hot Springs National Park||Jacksonville||Jonesboro||Little Rock|
|North Little Rock||Paragould||Pine Bluff||Rogers|
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in Arkansas, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Arkansas 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 programs 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Arkansas medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Arkansas hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.