As the top nursing school in Colorado, maintaining our standards through the process of accreditation helps us to improve our programs, prepare more high-quality future nurses, and provide the best nursing education. Every 10 years, CU Nursing must undergo the accreditation process that is conducted by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) to maintain our programs and status as a nursing school. Preparing for an accreditation involves faculty and staff comprehensively in institutional evaluation and planning review, and creates a culture of continuous improvement and quality improvement
Nursing school accreditation determines funding we receive for education.
As a government-funded state school, the University of Colorado relies on funding from the U.S. Department of Education and the state of Colorado, as well as tuition from students to operate the university. Students who attend an accredited school can be eligible for federal financial aid to help pay for school. Additionally, accreditation helps ensure that students can transfer credits between institutions. Without accredited programs, schools may not qualify for research grants awarded by the government. Similarly, states can also increase or decrease their funding for universities depending on the quality of programs, which is why accreditation is important to maintain this funding.
Without accreditation, we would not be able to educate students who can become certified RNs and practitioners.
When CCNE analyzes our programs, they are not only reviewing them to ensure that the content is current, but it is to ensure that the curriculum will help students pass the NCLEX examination to become Registered Nurses. To allow for students to become licensed RNs, states approve schools that can train students to be eligible to sit for the NCLEX examination, and approve schools to operate the program. Additionally, careful and thorough assessment is completed of our graduate programs and graduate student certification rates. Only graduates of an accredited nursing program can sit for the licensure or the certification exam in the particular state in which they practice.
Students who attend schools that do not have accredited programs can have a harder time continuing their graduate education.
Accreditation is used to assess the quality of academic programs at institutions to establish criteria for professional certification and licensure to upgrade courses and prepare students for their careers as nurses. Attending a nursing school that is not accredited can limit progression in a professional nursing career. Students can still receive a quality education and are still eligible for the NCLEX exam but they will be ineligible to attend another accredited nursing school and receive further nursing education.
Students who do not attend accredited schools may have difficulty finding a job after graduation.
It is important to maintain our accredited status to guarantee all of our graduates can be competitive in the job market. If the CCNE finds that nursing schools are not accredited, then it could make it more difficult for students to find jobs after graduation. Attending an accredited program makes students more competitive in the job market because employers prefer to hire accredited practitioners who are trained under nationally established nursing education programs. But, if a student graduates from a non-accredited program it could hurt their chances of getting a job when applying against their peers who attended an accredited institution.
Accreditation ensures standard quality of all nursing schools across the United States.
National accreditation means that the program adheres to common standards of quality set by the U.S. Department of Education. Approval by the state board of nursing does not mean the school is accredited by a national accrediting organization, but every accredited nursing school is also approved by its state board of nursing. Requiring accreditation of all nursing programs ensures nursing programs across the U.S. are being held at certain standard of quality and education is the same across all nursing schools in all states.
Overall, accreditation is important because it not only helps our school establish its status as a nursing school, but it determines how much funding our institution receives. Similarly, it allows us to educate students to become licensed RNs that can go on to pursue graduate education and be competitive in the job market. Furthermore, without accreditation, our school would not meet the standards of nursing education in the U.S. As we continue working to gather the materials for the accreditation process, we should remember that we are working hard to maintain the quality of education that our students receive at CU Nursing.