You can become a practical nurse or home health aide in less than one year
If a four-year college is not in the cards for you, don’t be dismayed. There are many accelerated career-focused programs that can prepare you for jobs in professional industries such as the field of healthcare. Many of them—such as practical nurse, home health aide, or nursing assistant—can be completed in less than one year, which means that next year at this time, you could be starting a new career!
If you are looking into career training schools, be sure to take your time. There may be many schools to consider, and you want to be sure that you choose the one that will be best for you. Here are some tips to consider before making a choice:
1. Choose a career field that has a positive future
You may see commercials or ads that say certain fields are “high-growth” or “high-demand” fields. This certainly may be true, but before you believe it, do your own research to confirm it. One place to learn about the future job growth of a particular career is the Occupational Outlook Handbook. This online handbook is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can search hundreds of different careers, and each one has a “job outlook” section where it predicts the field’s growth over the next decade. It also offers useful descriptions of the jobs themselves, and what kinds of tasks you would do on the job. Make sure you pick a job field that interests you, and that is projected to have positive job growth in the future.
2. Look for schools that offer career training in your chosen field
Now that you have an idea of the career field you want, it’s time to start looking for training programs. The National Center for Education Statistics hosts the College Navigator. With this online tool, you can search for schools near you. Or you can also do a simple Google search to find nearby schools. Once you find the schools near you, look at their websites to read about the programs they offer. Make a list of all the nearby schools that offer training in your selected career field.
3. Make sure the school is accredited!
Beware of career training schools that promise a lot, but may not deliver. One important measure of a school you can trust is a school that is accredited. Accreditation means that the school has met the standards of an independent accrediting board. You can check to see if a school is accredited on the U.S. government’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. (If you find a school that says it’s accredited, but does not appear in this database, simply call them. It’s possible that their name appears slightly differently in the government database.)
4. Take a tour of at least 3 schools
Most career training schools are more than happy to invite you in for a tour. A tour is a great way to get a feel for their school. You can see how modern the facilities are, and you can get a feel for your fellow students and the instructors. Be sure to visit at least three schools before you decide. That way you have a basis for comparison.
Here are some questions to consider when visiting a career training school:
- How long has the school been open?
- When did they start offering the particular job training program that you want?
- Is the school accredited? For how long has it been accredited?
- What is the condition of the classrooms and labs?
- Is the school close enough to your house? Do you have transportation to get there?
- What is the class schedule?
- How many other students are in the program?
- How experienced are the instructors for the program?
- Does the school offer externships?
- What is the job placement rate for graduates of the program?
5. Take your time!
The Admissions representatives at each school will probably be very encouraging and friendly, and want you to apply right away. But be sure to take your time to make sure you find the best fit for you. Don’t sign anything until you are sure you know what you want.
With these six steps, we hope you are on your way to getting a jump start on your career!
The Harris Casel Institute in Melbourne, Florida is proud to offer career training in the field of healthcare. We offer programs in the following areas: Home Health Aide, Medical Billing & Coding, Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Phlebotomy/EKG, and Practical Nursing. To learn more, fill out our simple online form.