One of the hardest decisions to make along the road to certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant is choosing the right training program. With so many different facilities, institutions, and types of training programs, it can be difficult to know ahead of time which will best suit your individual needs. Everyone has different needs when it comes to learning and choosing the best environment for your education can make the process simpler, smoother, and all around more enjoyable. All of the training programs must meet state requirements, but consider the differences between the types of CNA training programs before enrolling.
Nursing homes are one of the most popular choices for state-approved nurse aide training programs. As the main employers of CNAs, they are the most qualified to prepare students for real working conditions. The benefits of choosing nursing homes for training are many, but the chance for employment is the main perk. Nursing homes that train CNAs also hire CNAs. If they are not in need of new staff, they can put the best students in touch with other nursing homes in their network. The drawbacks include a smaller class size and limited availability. Some nursing homes do not offer training, and those that do can fill their classes very fast.
Community colleges are a good option for students that are most comfortable with traditional educational models, meaning a classroom with an instructor at the front, classmates, and assignments or tests. They have the largest classes, are often the most conveniently located, and offer the most regular instruction schedules compared to other types of CNA training programs. It is easier to find an open space in class, but that does not mean that enrollment is easier. Some community colleges have stricter admission requirements than other nurse aide programs. Further, the cost of tuition can be higher than most other types of training, requiring at least one semester’s worth of courses.
Technical Colleges / Vocational Schools:
Technical colleges, vocational schools, and other types of specialized nursing programs can be the best option for some students. Like community colleges, they offer regularly scheduled classes with larger availability than nursing homes. But an advantage to these programs is their specialization. Unlike community colleges, specialized nursing programs are designed around the nursing field and are staffed with experienced experts. The professional network associated with these institutions are much more useful for beginning a career as a nurse aide, as many instructors and teachers have extensive connections to the healthcare field. They streamline the certification process to reduce cost and improve efficiency. They are affordable alternatives, but reputations vary between institutions, so your choice of school should be made after thorough research.