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Questions to Ask CNA Colleges

Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start 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 necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Paragould AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Paragould AR 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 considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Paragould AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Paragould AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.