CCNE accreditation is compulsory for any reputed nursing education program.
However, there are some doubts regarding CCNE among some students. Apart from this, many students and aspiring nurses tend to get confused between CCNE and ACEN.
In this article, we have described what is CCNE accreditation and Its importance and the accreditation process.
What is CCNE Accreditation?
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an independent accrediting body that is focused on improving public health by evaluating the quality of nursing education programs at various bachelor’s graduate and residency level institutes within the United States.
The degree program itself is accredited by the CCNE and not the university, college or school of nursing. Having CCNE accreditation shows that experts in the field have assessed the nursing program and confirmed its excellent quality.
The CCNE is officially recognized as a national accrediting agency by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
The CCNE thoroughly assesses nursing education programs and recognizes those programs that are providing the highest standards of education.
Apart from this, CCNE motivates these nursing education programs to evaluate themselves and make the required improvements constantly as they continue to serve the student’s and the public’s best interests.
What is the CCNE Accreditation Process?
There are several ways that nursing education programs can showcase their adherence to CCNE standards.
The first step is dependent on whether the educational institute has one or more CCNE-accredited programs.
Those educational institutes that do not have any previous CCNE-accredited program will have to apply as new applicants. These institutes are eligible for accreditation for a period of up to 5 years.
On the other hand, educational institutes that already have a CCNE-accredited nursing program currently active will need to apply for approving other programs as ‘new programs.
A new program should be a certificate or degree program at a different level than the existing accredited program.
A nursing college can have an accredited bachelor’s degree program and many want to get accreditation for their master’s degree program too.
Accreditation is a peer-reviewed process. It involves on-site assessments carried out by CCNE representatives.
These are volunteers who are usually practicing nurses, representatives of healthcare employers, such as hospitals and reputed educators in the nursing field.
This evaluation process is comprehensive and may take several days to complete.
During the evaluation process, the team of assessors will review different aspects of the nursing education programs, such as:
- Faculty curricula vitae, publications and accomplishments
- Nursing student work samples
- Nursing program budgets
- Course Syllabi
- Course evaluation by students
- Formal complaints about nursing education program (if any)
The assessing team will then report to the CCNE Board of Commissioners which is conducted twice a year. This meeting is meant to review the on-site evaluations and make accreditation decisions.
Besides this, the team provides notification regarding any substantial changes needed in the nursing program.
These changes may include a change in the program’s mission, a change in status with the relevant state board of nursing, or adding new courses to the nursing program.
The team submits reports and notifications in different formats, based on whether the program in question is a graduate, bachelor’s or residency program.
This rigorous assessment process is how CCNE evaluates the quality of education and teaching resources at any nursing education program at colleges, schools and institutes.
What is the Value of CCNE Accreditation?
CCNE accreditation is beneficial for nursing students, nursing schools and the general public in many ways.
For nursing students and residents, the CCNE accreditation standards are assured that they will receive the highest quality education possible.
In addition, accreditation also tells the students that they will be trained to enter the workforce as fully-capable nurses.
Attending an accredited nursing program also helps students to qualify for federal financial aid and also aids in sitting for licensing exams.
For nursing schools, CCNE accreditation works as a badge of honor. The accreditation is proof that the nursing program is the best in class, a distinction that helps to attract the most motivated and eager nursing aspirants to their institutes.
The CCNE board members and evaluators are reputed leaders in the field of nursing and nursing education. Although accreditation is not compulsory a school can demonstrate its desire to provide high-quality nursing education.
The public also benefits from CCNE accreditation as it ensures comprehensive and rigorous nursing programs that create highly-skilled and professional nurses.
CCNE accreditation may not be mandatory for nursing schools, but it is extremely important to ensure that the school offers the highest quality of nursing education.
This accreditation proves to the students and the public that nurses graduating from accredited nursing institutes are well-trained and highly professional individuals.