How to Choose the Best CNA Training Program or School
Regardless of your location, there are many places near you that offer the required classes to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Classes are available at trade schools, community colleges, universities, special programs and online. Before enrolling in any course, you should check all possible programs to find the best one for you.
Travel and Cost
You should begin by making a list of all available classes within your travel range. The time and cost of driving to and from class should be considered as part of the program. Travel will decrease your study time and add to your expenses.
The cost of classes varies with each institution. Although training can be completed in six weeks to three months, some institutions have designed curriculums that require two years. Universities may have curriculums that are incorporated into their four-year degree program.
Although online classes are available, they may not be a good option. Hands-on training is essential in every program, and online classes may not have the facilities to offer such training.
Accreditation of Courses
The first question to ask at any institution is, “Is this an accredited institution?” There are many scams in education, and CNA training is not immune. If the institution is not accredited, you are wasting your time and money.
In addition to the US Department of Education, CNA programs are primarily accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care and The Joint Commission. These accrediting associations periodically check institutions to be certain that standards are maintained. Specific classes must be taught for a minimum time. A minimum of hands-on training is required so that the student is adequately prepared to use the required techniques in working directly with patients and equipment.
Since it is relatively easy to set up a website and go into business, you should exercise caution in taking online classes. Be certain that they are accredited and have hands-on training that is easily accessible to you.
Certification is Required
After making certain that the institution meets the travel and accreditation requirements, you should determine how well the classes are taught by asking current students the following questions:
- How satisfied are you with the training?
- Do the instructors challenge you?
- How do the instructors guide you through difficult material?You should ask recent graduates the following questions:
- Did your training prepare you adequately for the workplace:
- Were there any areas in your training that made you feel inadequate?Since every program teaches the same required basic classes, you should ask what percentage of their graduates passes the certification test the first time they take it. A large percentage of graduates passing the test the first time would indicate that the students are well prepared in the classroom.Although it’s difficult, you should try to contact studentsand graduates of online classes for their evaluations.
Following these guidelines should give you enough information to select the best Certified Nursing Assistant program available in your area.