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Things to Ask CNA Schools

Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Pine Bluff AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often 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.  Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Pine Bluff AR 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Pine Bluff AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Pine Bluff AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.