For anyone wishing to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), there are a number of decisions that must be made. From deciding whether to pursue a traditional campus education to participating in a hospital-based program to taking classes online, the options available for obtaining CNA training have never been greater. Of course, deciding which type of educational path you want to take on your way to a career as a nursing assistant is just one small part of the decision-making process. Just as with any educational endeavor, the true test involves deciding which of the best CNA programs, courses & schools will meet your needs.
Of course, determining which are the best CNA programs, courses & schools is often a subjective experience. The fact is that in every area of CNA education there are a tremendous number of opportunities to meet your training needs and help you prepare for your state’s certification examination. There are, however, a number of areas you can examine to determine the best CNA programs, courses & schools for you.
To begin with, you will want to identify right up front whether the course of study you are looking at is an accredited program. Accredited and recognized programs – whether offered on campus or online – can often provide advantages during your job search. The best CNA programs, courses & schools have usually received some recognition by either the Department of Education or the various state Public Health departments. These resources are also invaluable tools for determining which schools and programs do not meet the basic criteria you need. In general, you will want a school that offers a course of study meeting the basic hourly training requirements, as well as one that offers some means for obtaining the requisite clinical practice and experience that you will need prior to certification.
For campus training, the best CNA programs, courses & schools should offer access to the type of state of the art medical equipment and training procedures that you will be working with in your career as a nursing assistant. Visit the campus and tour the facilities where you will receive your training. If the medical equipment appears inadequate or outmoded, chances are that the quality of the training will be subpar as well. Quality programs will provide you access to speak with faculty and students, and will take great pride in their modern facilities. Campus admissions officers who make excuses about their equipment, or who try to deny you access to the facilities are all but acknowledging that their campus is not the best place for you to receive your training.
If you a planning to take courses online, be sure to ask about clinical training requirements. The best CNA programs, courses & schools offered online all assist you in obtaining real lab and clinical experience by working at a nearby hospital or clinic. If you are looking at an online training option that tries to convince you that clinical experience is not necessary, your best bet would be to continue your search for a better school.
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