Are you interested in starting a rewarding career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA? This dynamic and challenging career is among the fastest growing in the medical field. It’s no surprise millions of aspiring CNAs are taking the exciting plunge into the realm of this patient-centric schooling. While applying for CNA programs may feel overwhelming, if you understand what to expect, and plan accordingly, then you’ll soon be on your way to an exciting career in one of the most interesting and rewarding medical careers available.
The following tips are designed to help expedite your school selection and satisfaction. By understanding your options, you’re able to find a school that not only works for your budget, but also availability. Remember, determining where to take your CNA program is just as important as where you’ll work upon graduation. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. Thankfully, with a little determination, and a lot of coffee, you’ll soon be out of school and in the dynamic realm of working as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Tip #1 | Online or Offline CNA Programs
When searching for a CNA program, the first question you must answer is whether you’d prefer an in-person program or an online school? While both feature their own benefits and drawbacks, your decision should be based on how you learn. While some people learn best in-person, others are able to absorb and retain information by sitting at their computer in their home or in a coffee shop.
In general, both on campus CNA programs and online CNA programs are the same length and feature the same requirements. Of course, you should read reviews of a school to see if the program fits the educational and placement goals you’ve established.
Tip #2 | Accreditation
Before signing up for any program, it’s imperative that the program is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Look for a seal of accreditation by ACEN, or The Accreditation Commission for Education, or CCNE, or the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education. It’s possible that your state also has its own accrediting agencies. Therefore, check with your state nursing board to determine exactly what you should look for when choosing a school. By not attending an accredited institution, it’s possible your schooling may not qualify you for the licensing examination.
Tip #3 | Previous Student Success and Current Reputation
Does a program sound too good to be true? If so, then it probably is. Always confirm previous student success rates, as well as its current reputation. It’s important to only take classes for a reputable institution. Not only does this mean the quality of your education meets industry standards, but as you may already know, where you go to school is almost as important to employers as how well you performed in school. Read forums, contact hospitals and network with those who currently work in the nursing industry.
Tip #4 | Career Placement Services
Lastly, attend a program that features a career placement department. Essentially, after graduating and passing necessary licensure examinations, the school works on your behalf to secure a job. Typically, a school and employer have close working relationships, which means the hospital or clinic may turn directly to the school to fill CNA vacancies. This can be the easiest, and most effective, way to get your feet in the door immediately upon graduating.