how are nursing schools accredited
Nursing schools must be accredited.
When applying to a nursing program, it is essential to ensure that the school is properly accredited. The degree you receive upon graduation is required to sit for and pass the licensing exam, which is administered by each state’s Board of Nursing. If your degree is not from an accredited program, you are ineligible to take the exam and will be unable to practice as a nurse.
Accreditation ensures that a nursing program meets minimum standards for student services, faculty qualifications, and administrative support. This protects students from receiving a subpar education, but also helps employers know that nurses who graduate from accredited programs can be trusted to meet minimum standards.
This focus on accreditation does not apply only to nursing schools; other professions require their practitioners to complete coursework at accredited institutions as well.
The accreditation is awarded by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
CCNE is the official accrediting body for the nursing program. Accreditation is awarded by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and an autonomous accrediting agency. CCNE is not connected to any membership association.
The CCNE and other accrediting bodies do not directly accredit nursing schools, they only accredit programs within schools.
So, how do you choose a school? First, the program you’re looking at should be accredited by a reputable body like the CCNE, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA). These organizations evaluate programs according to rigorous standards. When schools meet those standards, they are considered to be of high quality.
But wait—those three bodies don’t accredit nursing schools. See that asterisk next to CCNE? It reads: “The CCNE and other accrediting bodies do not directly accredit nursing schools, they only accredit programs within schools.”
An on-site evaluation is required every eight years to retain the accreditation.
An on-site evaluation is required every eight years to retain the accreditation. The school provides an in-depth self-study, which is a comprehensive review of the nursing program. Then, the CCNE sends an evaluation team to visit the school and interview faculty, staff and students about various aspects of the program. The evaluation team presents a report to the CCNE with its recommendation for whether to award or retain accreditation. Once that’s complete, the CCNE makes its decision regarding accreditation for up to eight years. This process can be very rigorous; it requires schools to be completely transparent about their strengths and weaknesses as well as what they are doing or plan to do to improve their programs.
During this time, the school will have to prove that it’s in compliance with the CCNE’s standards.
During this time, the school will have to prove that it’s in compliance with the CCNE’s standards. Essentially, this means that the school has to demonstrate that its nursing programs are high quality and that its students are receiving a well-rounded education. In order to assess these qualities, the CCNE will look at several factors and evaluate whether they meet their criteria:
- How many students graduate from each program
- The rate at which graduates pass licensing exams
- How many faculty members hold doctorate degrees in their field
- Whether or not faculty members regularly take part in professional development opportunities
The CCNE provides an online list of accredited nursing degree programs for each state.
You can find a list of CCNE-accredited nursing schools at ccneaccreditation.org. This complete, updated quarterly list is organized alphabetically by state, with the name of the school and its respective accreditation status.
It’s important to check that a program is accredited by the CCNE before enrolling.
If you’re thinking about enrolling in a nursing program, it’s important to check that a program is accredited by the CCNE before enrolling. A list of accredited programs is available on their website. If the school does not appear on this list, it may mean that their standards do not meet the CCNE’s requirements for accreditation. You should also note that some schools are only conditionally accredited or have been granted candidacy status; these designations are temporary and indicate that the school has yet to be fully accredited by the organization.
You can’t work as a nurse if you don’t attend an accredited program, so make sure your program of choice is accredited.
Attending an accredited nursing program is a very important part of your future as a nurse. Some states won’t let you take their licensing exams if you didn’t attend an accredited program, and graduate school admissions offices may not consider your application if you haven’t attended an accredited program. It’s easy to check whether or not a program is accredited—simply ask the school what its accreditation status is, or look up the name of the program at [the website of the organization that accredits it].
It’s also important to make sure that a nursing program will be able to renew its accreditation when it expires; however, this should be easily accomplished by programs that offer high quality education.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to double-check that your chosen nursing program was accredited at the time you graduated. You can do this by looking up accreditation information on [the website listed above] or calling [phone number].