The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a nationally recognized accrediting agency. CCNE states that “accreditation focuses on the quality of institutions of higher and professional education and on the quality of educational programs within institutions.” It adds that “CCNE strives to ensure the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs.”
Nursing school programs seek accreditation status as it serves to benefit students in the future.
Accreditation in accordance with national standards (or lack thereof) can determine a student’s prospects for financial aid, affect future eligibility for advanced degree programs and even influence employment opportunities after graduation. According to my-nursing-career.com, “CCNE accreditation is a voluntary, self-regulatory process, and the organization encourages and supports nursing education programs to perform self-assessments to grow and improve their collegiate professional education.”
Benefit and Value
Choosing a CCNE-accredited school benefits students in multiple ways, both during and after their education journey. Students enrolled in a nursing program with CCNE accreditation are more likely to secure financial aid (if eligibility requirements are otherwise met). Financial aid agencies have many strict lending and funding guidelines, including accreditation of the nursing program in question.
Graduating from a nationally accredited nursing program can provide more employment opportunities. Many employers value degrees from CCNE-accredited schools in today’s current competitive healthcare market. If pursuing an advanced degree is a possibility, choosing a CCNE-accredited school now can prevent roadblocks to admission into such programs. Admission requirements of many universities include an undergraduate degree from a nursing program that holds accreditation status.
Requirements to Gain Accreditation
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education has published standards for accreditation which were last amended in 2013. While the primary focus is program quality, the four main standards include considerations of curriculum as well as the institution’s resources and effectiveness of the program overall.
CCNE lists several purposes for accreditation on its website, and here it states one of utmost importance to prospective nursing students: “To hold nursing programs accountable to the community of interest — the nursing profession, consumers, employers, higher education, students and their families, nurse residents — and to one another by ensuring that these programs have mission statements, goals, and outcomes that are appropriate to prepare individuals to fulfill their expected roles.”
Prospective students should stay well-informed of the benefits of attending a CCNE-accredited nursing program. Awareness of accreditation status and standards is critical due to their potential to affect financial status, employment prospects and higher education pursuits in the future.
Because of the substantial investments of time and money into education, prospective students should make sure they fully understand and research the intricacies of the nursing programs they are considering.
Fitchburg State’s online RN to BS in Nursing program is recognized by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education as CCNE-accredited.
Learn more about the Fitchburg State online RN to BS in Nursing program.
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