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What to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Sherwood AR area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Sherwood 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 colleges 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 favorable reputation within the Sherwood AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Sherwood AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.