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Learn more about the CNA life and get details about how to enroll in NextStep’s training-to-placement CNA program.
Do an online search for “best CNA programs near me,” and the number of results can be intimidating — more than 75 million possibilities!
So, how do you decide which CNA schools are legitimate and worth a closer look, and which are a waste of time and possibly money? Below you’ll find some easy ways to determine if a training course is serving its students well.
Free and low-cost training might seem too good to be true. And, sometimes it is. You’ll want to check the fine print for eligibility requirements, additional unlisted costs and long-term obligations. That said, legitimate programs that offer scholarships and other methods to secure your CNA training tuition free can be an accessible path to career advancement. So, do your homework, find the real deal, and then take advantage of any financial aid you can get!
Whether you’re picking out a movie or buying an electric toothbrush, the internet offers no shortage of opinions. The same applies to CNA schools. One of the best ways to tell if a CNA school is on the level is to read what people are saying about it. TrustPilot is a great resource because the company actively works to prevent fake reviews and promote transparency.
Most states require CNAs to attend a state-certified training program. There’s a good reason for that: certification means a CNA school meets a rigorous set of education standards that ensure learners can safely — and legally — practice as a nursing assistant in the state. To find out if a CNA school is state certified, just check with your state’s board of health or nursing.
You can tell a lot about how legitimate a CNA school is based on how clear its policies are. Being able to understand exactly how the program works and what will be expected from you as a learner is especially important when your time and money are at stake.
Information you’ll want to look for should include cost (including incidental expenses, such as textbooks and medical check-ups), how long the course will take, and what will happen if you can’t complete it. Knowing the exact content of the curriculum — and how and where learning will happen — is also useful to know when assessing a CNA school.
A CNA school’s partnerships with other organizations are also good indicators of quality. Check to see which long-term-care providers endorse or partner with the school. Which investors are providing funding to the school? Has the school won any awards? These relationships are a great window into how legitimate the program is.
Where a CNA school’s graduates end up working and their continuing career achievements can provide a good clue into the quality of their education. Most CNA schools will showcase graduates who are high achievers. If a school doesn’t, that’s a warning sign. Since many people list their education on LinkedIn, you can do a quick search for the school you’re considering and then take a look at the profiles of their graduates.
If you still have questions after going through this checklist, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to the CNA school. A legitimate organization will be happy to respond with any details you’re still missing.
Once you’ve gone through all of the above steps and everything checks out, you can feel confident about enrolling in a training course. If that CNA program is NextStep, even better! We value our commitment to quality and transparency — it’s how we make sure you become the best CNA you can and find a career that really matters.
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