The healthcare industry is facing a shortage of qualified professionals, and employers are increasingly looking to CTE health science students to gain the certification needed to fill the employment pipeline. However, not all certifications are created equal.

Educational leaders have worked hard to build quality healthcare programs and want to make sure that hard work is supported by a credible credential partner. In this blog, we will explore the differences between accredited and unaccredited certifications, why it is important that CTE health science students pursue accredited certifications and delve into why the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) is the top choice for high school CTE health science programs.

The Difference Between Accredited and Unaccredited Certifications

Accredited certifications are highly regarded in the healthcare industry and are often seen as a mark of quality and credibility. These certifications are awarded to organizations that have undergone stringent standards regarding exam development, test security, and overall quality by third-party accrediting bodies.

One of the main advantages of accredited certifications is that they provide external validation of the certification’s quality and relevance. The stringent standards set by the accrediting body help ensure that the program is comprehensive, up-to-date, and aligned with industry best practices. This external validation can give employers, patients, and industry professionals confidence in the certification and the knowledge and skills it represents.

Accredited certifications also often require candidates go through a standardized and secure exam process. This includes the development of a well-structured and fair exam, as well as measures to protect the integrity and security of the exam. This ensures that individuals who hold the certification have demonstrated a certain level of competence and knowledge in the area.

Unaccredited certifications, on the other hand, may have varying levels of credibility and likely do not adhere to the same rigorous standards as accredited programs. This can lead to inconsistencies in the content, assessment methods, and overall quality of the certification program.

Why Choose an Accredited Certification?

1. Recognition by Employers


Accredited certifications carry more weight in the eyes of employers. When seeking qualified candidates, employers often prioritize those with accredited certifications. These certifications demonstrate that candidates have met rigorous standards and possess the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. On average, 75% of employers surveyed for the 2023 Industry Outlook require certification for key health professions. By choosing an accredited certification, students increase their chances of securing employment and commanding higher wages.

2. Scholarships and Financial Aid

Accredited certifications play a crucial role in determining students' eligibility for scholarships and financial aid. Many scholarships and financial aid programs specifically require applicants to possess accredited certifications. By holding an accredited certification, students gain a significant advantage when seeking scholarships or financial aid, ensuring they can pursue their education with the necessary financial support.

It is important to highlight that multiple NHA certification exams have received approval from the American Council on Education (ACE) as being equivalent to earning college credit. This notable recognition means that individuals who hold these particular NHA certifications may have the opportunity to receive college credit for their achievements, further strengthening their educational journey.

3. Networking Opportunities

Accredited certifications provide students with access to valuable networking opportunities within the healthcare field. Many accredited certification programs offer events, conferences, and online platforms where students can connect with professionals in the industry. Building these connections can lead to potential employment opportunities, mentorship, and a deeper understanding of the field's trends and advancements.

The NHA Advantage

When considering accredited certifications for your high school CTE health science program, NHA stands out as a trusted and reputable choice.

Industry-Recognized Credentials: NHA’s certification programs are accredited through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is widely recognized and respected by employers in the healthcare industry. Employers know that NHA-certified individuals possess the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. By choosing NHA, you ensure that your students' certifications are highly valued and increase their employability.

Comprehensive Certification & Learning Resource Offerings: NHA offers certifications that align with eight allied healthcare professions. Whether your students are interested in medical assisting, pharmacy technology, or patient care, NHA has certifications tailored to their career aspirations. This comprehensive range of certifications allows your program to cater to diverse student interests and goals. Enhancing the certification journey, NHA provides a variety of core and professional learning resources so you can build a flexible program that fits your needs.

Provisional Certification Opportunity: NHA offers a unique provisional certification specifically designed for high school students or individuals enrolled in a GED program who are scheduled to graduate. This provisional certification allows these candidates to take and pass the NHA certification exam up to 12 months before their graduation. Upon passing the exam, they receive a provisional certification, indicated by a “P” associated with their certificate number. Once the candidate graduates and provides proof of graduation (high school diploma or GED), they can convert their provisional certification to a full certification by meeting all the eligibility requirements.

Support for Educators and Students: NHA is dedicated to supporting educators and students throughout their certification journey. They provide comprehensive resources such as study materials, practice exams, and continuing education opportunities. These resources ensure that students are well-prepared for their certification exams and remain up to date with industry advancements.

Commitment to Quality: NHA maintains high standards for their certifications and regularly updates them to align with industry best practices. By choosing NHA, you can trust that your students are earning certifications that reflect the latest knowledge and skills required in the healthcare field.

Securing Success in the Job Market: Choose Accredited Certification

Choosing an accredited certification for your high school CTE health science program is essential for ensuring your student's success in the competitive job market. By selecting an accredited certification, such as those offered by NHA, you provide your students with the best chance of securing employment, accessing scholarships and financial aid, and building valuable professional connections. NHA's industry recognition, comprehensive certification, and learning resources offerings, provisional certification opportunity, support for educators and students, and commitment to quality make them the top choice for high school CTE health science programs.

Before you choose an allied healthcare certification partner, do your research. Consider the work you’ve done to earn your program's positive outcomes and support your student's career goals. Then, connect with NHA to choose the certification and learning resources that align with your program's needs. With an accredited NHA certification, your students will be job-ready and well-prepared for a career in the healthcare industry.

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