CNA Certification Programs – A Great Range To Choose From

Let’s face it. With the prevalence of the Internet coupled with the high demand for certified nursing assistants (CNA), the choice of school-based and online CNA certification programs numbers in the thousands in the United States alone. It can then be easy to get scammed by schools and sites offering non-accredited programs, thus, wasting valuable time, effort, and money.

Look at Rankings, Accreditation, and Facilities

With that being said, the importance of evaluating the rankings, accreditation, and facilities of the schools and sites cannot be overemphasized. Keep in mind that the CNA training program is your first step toward becoming a valued member of the healthcare industry with a good salary package. Without a valid accreditation, a top-notch education, and a well-known program, such a step cannot be possible.

Let’s take a look at the rankings first since most of the schools and sites listed here are accredited by the concerned agencies. These rankings are a good way to determine the best schools and sites that offer CNA certification programs. Of course, you will want to enroll in the best because of the education, training, and skills provided by the school or site.

However, the rankings are not the be-all and end-all of looking for the right school or site. It should be noted that the rankings are subjective in the sense that there are no set criteria for the entire industry. For example, Site A will rank in the top 5 in one list using test results as the main criterion but will rank lower in another list with student feedback as the primary standard.

Regardless of rankings, valid accreditation is the most important part of choosing a CNA training program. Ask your state registry for a list of accredited schools and sites from which you can choose the most suitable venue for your needs and wants in the program for aspiring certified nursing assistants.

If possible, you should also take a look at the facilities and amenities of the school or, in the case of online sites, browse the site itself for more information on its services. Getting feedback from past and present students as well as short interviews with the instructors will also help in making your final choice.

Set Your Expectations

In both online and brick-and-mortar CNA training programs, students can expect the following experiences:

• Classroom sessions are complemented with in-clinic practical training in various healthcare establishments like hospitals, doctor’s clinics, and nursing homes.

• Subjects covered include but are not limited to anatomy and physiology, basic nursing skills, nutrition, patient personal hygiene, safety and injury prevention, and infection control. Communication skills, resident and patient rights, and ethics are also discussed during classroom sessions. All of these subjects should be applied during practicum stints under the supervision of a clinical instructor.

• Written and oral examinations, homework, and skills demonstrations are also part of the curriculum. These activities are excellent preparation for the National Nurse Aid Assessment Program (NNAAP) certification exam, which consists of a written or oral exam followed by the skills demonstration test.

Since nursing assistants are not responsible for the operation of special medical equipment, most curricula in schools and sites will not include special technical training. The most common tools handled by certified nursing assistants are those necessary for taking vital signs (i.e., thermometer). In both online sites and schools, the students are expected to comply with the applicable rules and regulations including submission of assignments and participation in practicum activities.