CCNE accreditation is a must for reputable nursing education programs, but what exactly are CCNE accreditation standards and what are the benefits of being accredited? Here we examine those questions and introduce a renowned, CCNE-accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
What Is the CCNE?
The CCNE, an abbreviation of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, is an independent accrediting body dedicated to improving public health by assessing the quality of nursing education programs at the bachelor’s, graduate, and residency levels (To clarify, it is the degree program itself that is accredited by the CCNE, not the university, or school or college of nursing). While any program can tout its own quality, CCNE-accreditation indicates that experts in the field have evaluated the program and confirmed its commitment to excellence. The CCNE is officially acknowledged as a national accrediting agency by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
The CCNE thoroughly evaluates nursing education programs and recognizes those that are providing education at the highest standards. In addition, the CCNE encourages these programs to assess themselves and make improvements on an ongoing basis to ensure they continue to serve their students’ and the public’s best interests.
The Accreditation Process
There are multiple steps in the process of demonstrating that a program meets CCNE accreditation standards. The first step depends on whether or not the educational institution already has one or more CCNE-accredited programs.
- Educational institutions that don’t already have nursing education programs accredited by CCNE will enter into the accreditation process as new applicants. Institutions with new applicant status are eligible for accreditation for a maximum term of five years.
- Educational institutions that already have at least one CCNE-accredited nursing program will submit any subsequent programs into the accreditation process as new programs. A new program must be a degree or certificate program at a different level than existing accredited programs. A nursing college may already have an accredited bachelor’s degree program, for example, and want to have its new master’s degree program accredited as well.
Accreditation is a peer review process that includes on-site evaluations conducted by representatives from the CCNE. These evaluators are volunteers who are often practicing nurses, established educators in the field, and representatives of healthcare employers such as hospitals. The evaluation is a comprehensive process that takes several days to complete. During their visit, the evaluation team reviews a variety of materials, including:
- Nursing student work samples.
- Faculty curricula vitae, accomplishments, and publications.
- Course syllabi.
- Nursing program budgets.
- Course evaluations from students.
- Formal complaints about the program, if any.
The team then reports back to the CCNE Board of Commissioners, which meets twice each year to review on-site evaluations and render accrediting decisions. Programs that earn accreditation are expected to regularly submit reports verifying their ongoing compliance with accreditation standards. In addition, they must provide notification upon any substantive changes to their program, such as a change in status with their state board of nursing, a change in the program’s mission, or the addition of new courses to the program. These reports and notifications vary in format based on whether the program in question is a bachelor’s, graduate, or residency program.
It is through this rigorous assessment process that the CCNE has established its status as the accrediting body of record for nursing education programs in the United States.
The Value of CCNE Accreditation
CCNE accreditation benefits nursing schools, nursing students, and the general public, each in different ways.
For nursing schools, CCNE accreditation is a badge of honor. It signifies that a program is among the best of the best, a distinction which enables it to attract motivated, top-performing students. The CCNE board members and evaluators are all proven leaders in the fields of nursing and nursing education. Accreditation is voluntary, but by choosing to go through that process, a school demonstrates its desire to hold itself—and to be held—to the highest standards.
For nursing students and residents, CCNE accreditation standards are an assurance that they can expect to receive an education of the highest quality possible. Further, accreditation communicates to the student that they will be equipped to enter the workforce after graduation as a fully trained, capable, and confident nurse. Attending an accredited nursing program can also help students qualify for federal financial aid and sit for licensing exams.
The public also benefits from CCNE accreditation in that accreditation ensures rigorous, comprehensive nursing programs that help to create highly skilled professionals who can provide the finest patient care.
Our CCNE-Accredited Online RN to BS in Nursing Program
If you’re considering applying to an undergraduate nursing program, see how CCNE accreditation translates to real-world healthcare outcomes in the online RN to BS in Nursing program from The University of Texas Permian Basin College of Nursing. Also referred to as RN to BSN, this affordable, convenient program helps you prepare for important leadership and decision-making roles in patient care. As you progress through the program, you’ll develop an in-depth comprehension of evidence-based practice, patient-focused care, and approaches for fulfilling the varied needs of multicultural patients.
UT Permian Basin’s online RN to BS in Nursing program was designed with busy RNs in mind. We know that juggling the requirements of a profession, an education, and a family can be a challenge. To make earning that career-enhancing degree possible for you, we’ve created a truly flexible program. You can complete your studies on your own schedule, anywhere you have internet access, and earn your BSN degree in as little as one year. That flexibility extends to our program’s clinical courses, which don’t require any campus visits and can be done with a preceptor of your choice, provided the individual has already earned a BSN degree and is currently working in a nursing leadership position.
Upon successful completion of our RN to BS in Nursing program, you’ll receive two respected nursing education credentials: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Nurse Manager Certificate from Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. When you make the transition from registered nurse to BSN degree holder, you open up new doors of career potential, with greater advancement and compensation opportunities and greater professional prestige.
Experience the value of CCNE accreditation for yourself. Learn more about UT Permian Basin’s online RN to BS in Nursing program now.