If you are interested in becoming a certified nursing assistant, you have a lot of options for where to complete your training. There are several types of CNA training schools, and understanding the benefits of each will make it easier to decide which is best suited to your needs as a student. Don’t enroll in a program just because it’s the most convenient or least expensive; pick a training school that has unique benefits for your unique situation. The more thought you put into your choice, the greater chance you have to succeed in a nursing career.
Nursing homes are the number one employer of CNAs across the country. They can be accredited to provide training, and many facilities will train new nurse aides to staff their rotations. This is a great way to finish your training and find employment. With a shorter transition from instruction to employment, you can quickly start earning a wage as a nursing assistant and stacking up hours of experience. As an additional attraction, nurse aides that are offered a job before their certification is complete are not required to pay for their training. The employer must cover the expenses. The drawbacks to training schools at nursing homes are that they are much smaller and not always available for students. If they are not in need of new staff or have already filled their class, there may not any opportunities.
Community colleges are the most popular type of CNA training school. Based in large networks throughout the country, community colleges are evenly distributed by county, making them a convenient choice for a wide range of students. Their classes are always available and regularly scheduled due to a high demand. Class sizes are much larger and instructors have less time for individual students, but the group atmosphere can be beneficial for some types of students that are seeking group support. The major drawback to these educational institutions is that they have stricter admission processes and only accept certain students. Tuition is often much higher than at other options too.
Technical schools are a convenient middle-ground between small vocational nursing programs and large nursing classes at community colleges. They have fewer admission requirements than community colleges and can provide more support for career development and employment counseling. Students at technical schools are also grouped into bigger classes, but there are generally fewer classes overall, allowing instructors a little more time with each student. These are in the median price range for most CNA programs at other locations.
Vocational Nursing Programs
Vocational nursing programs are the most common type of state-approved nurse aide training program. Most often, they are run as a business or by a single owner and keep their classes in sizes dictated by demand. These are the smallest types of training programs, with classes of five to ten students. This is the best environment for students that want a lot of face-to-face interaction with their instructor. There are some risks to choosing small programs however, and vocational nursing programs can be approved one year only to have terrible passing rates that get them unapproved the next year. Choose a program with a well-established reputation and talk to a person from the school before enrolling. These programs have a wide range of prices, varying on an individual basis.