Quality matters when it comes to education, and the most recognized stamp of quality in the United States is accreditation. Accreditation is a way to verify that a school is offering education that complies with the standards of the day, while also demonstrating a continued effort toward quality improvements. Once an institute has been accredited by an agency recognized by the Department of Education, its individual programs can also go on to be accredited.
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency. CCNE accreditation has become a mark of quality and integrity for baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing. If you are interested in earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, it behooves you to first understand CCNE accreditation.
Why Does Accreditation Matter?
Beyond quality of education, accreditation is a way for your future employers to know that you’ve been exposed to and have learned everything they expect you to know by the time you graduate. If a BSN program isn’t accredited, there’s a chance its curriculum falls short of the national standards. For some employers, this is a real problem and a significant risk since people’s lives are on the line. In fact, some employers may even choose not to recognize your degree if it doesn’t come from an accredited program.
How does a school become accredited?
The CCNE Accreditation Process
To get started with the CCNE accreditation process, an institute must first publish a self-study addressing its BSN program’s compliance with CCNE and baccalaureate standards set by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). An evaluation team is then sent out to visit the school. During this visit, the team reviews the program and prepares a report that addresses anything that needs further explanation. The program then has time to respond to the report and provide missing pieces of information or include additional information if necessary.
The self-study, initial report and follow-up reports are then bundled and reviewed by the Accreditation Review Committee (ARC), which makes a recommendation regarding accreditation to the board. The CCNE’s Board of Directors then uses this information to grant, deny, reaffirm or withdraw accreditation.
The whole process is restarted within 10 years.
Example of a CCNE-Accredited RN to BSN Program
The RN to BSN curriculum at Mississippi College (MC) is one example a CCNE-accredited program. MC also offers an accelerated online format that is flexible, affordable and convenient for working nurses. The program is designed to help you become a more compassionate and knowledgeable nurse, capable of leading transformative changes to our healthcare systems.
MC is also defined by its faith-based curricula and globally relevant courses, with dedicated faculty equipped to train you on the values, competencies, and understanding necessary to advance your nursing practice. Students can complete the 30-credit hour program in as few as 12 months.
Learn more about the MC online RN to BSN program.