Nightingale College is proud to announce that the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program hosted a successful site visit for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). ACEN site evaluators recommended the program for initial accreditation for a 5-year term. The remaining 2 tiers in the initial accreditation process are the Evaluation Review Panel (ERP), June 2 – 6, 2014, and the Board of Commissioners Meeting, July 10 – 11, 2014, both of which will take place in Atlanta, Georgia. The College will receive the final decision letter in mid-August 2014.
Nightingale College thanks all its staff, students, graduates, and community partners that contributed to this momentous event!
There are important facts to know and a few questions to consider prior to selecting which accredited college to attend. First, there are two types of accreditation that an institution of higher learning can obtain; one is known as “institutional” and the other is “specialized” or “programmatic”. Institutional accreditation refers to the entire institution, meaning all parts of that institution are positively contributing to the overall objectives and mission. Specialized or programmatic accreditation refers to a specific program and its measured outcomes. In the U.S., higher education accreditation is voluntary and is granted through lengthy and arduous peer-review processes driven by accrediting agencies. Often, while in the process of obtaining initial accreditation, educational institutions and programs spend several years in “candidacy,” a status granted to qualified applicants.
The U.S. Department of Education does not accredit educational institutions or programs directly, but the Secretary of Education publishes
a list of all recognized accrediting agencies that have been determined to be reliable through a review process as long and laborious as obtaining and maintaining accreditation itself. Although not mandatory, accreditation serves as a pass to institutional and programmatic eligibility for Title IV Federal Student Aid programs, such as Pell Grants and Direct Loans, while guiding institutions and programs to meet certain quality standards and continuously improve.
The two types of institutional accrediting bodies are Regional and National. Finding a school that is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education is the first step.
There are six regional accrediting agencies that oversee different sections of the country. They are:
Middle State Association of Colleges
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Western Associations of Schools and Colleges
Unlike their Regional counterparts, National accreditors are not bound to specific geographic area, but rather evaluate certain types of higher learning institutions. For example, the Accrediting Bureau
of Health Education Schools (ABHES) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an institutional and specialized accreditor focusing on health care education. Many nationally accredited colleges and universities focus on vocational or trade focused education, for example nursing or medical assisting.
The type of institutional accreditation does not play a role in determining the quality of education at a specific college or university. There are many examples of high quality institutions and programs under both regional and national accreditation; however, lower quality providers with poor outcomes exist under both types of accreditation as well.
What You Must Ask Before Choosing a Program of Study?
1. Why are you attending a specific program?
If the sole goal of your completing a program of study is an immediate entry into the workforce, then institution’s accreditation source, whether national or regional, will likely not make much difference (assuming you are comparing programs
of similar cost and quality). If completing a
specific program will serve as an educational ladder stepping-stone to a higher degree, then transferability of the earned credits and/or academic and professional credentials must be considered. Each educational institution sets its own transfer of academic credit policies and there is no guarantee that any earned credits would transfer. As a general trend, most nationally accredited colleges and universities accept credits and credentials from both regionally and nationally accredited institutions. However, some regionally accredited schools do not transfer in academic credits earned at nationally accredited institutions. To learn about transfer of credit policies at any specific higher education provider, please contact the institution’s admissions and/or registration department, or refer to the school’s academic catalog.
2. What is the cost of the program?
Public universities and community colleges are, generally, regionally accredited and, since these schools are heavily subsidized by the taxpayers, their tuition and fees can be significantly less than at most private, nationally accredited institutions. However, competition for admission to a public university or community college could be much greater than at private institutions. When evaluating the value of an educational program, one must consider the entire cost
of attendance (COA). Questions regarding COA should be directed to the institution’s financial aid department. Among other factors that should be consider when evaluating the total value of a program are its acceptance and yield rates. In other words, how many qualified applicants receive admission offers and how many of those
enroll into the program of study? Conversely, how many qualified admissions applications are denied or waitlisted? The opportunity cost of waiting year after year to enroll into a specific program could become significant, as the earning potential that follows being a program graduate is delayed further and further.
3. What is the quality of the program?
As previously discussed, programmatic accreditation is voluntary. However, accreditation often signals an educational program’s higher level of commitment to excellence and high quality. Therefore, attending a program that is a candidate for or has obtained programmatic accreditation is highly recommended. Some of specialized programmatic accreditors are:
American Medical Association (AMA) accredits medical programs
Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits engineering programs
American Dental Association (ADA) accredits dentistry programs.
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) formerly known as National Nursing League (NLN) accredits nursing programs
American Bar Association (ABA) accredits law programs
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits business and accounting programs
Finally, institutions of higher learning are required to publish statistics on outcomes of their educational programs. Graduation and retention rates, licensure examinations’ pass rates, and employment placement rates are examples of published outcomes that may be found on the schools’ websites or by contacting admissions departments.
Accreditation is, indeed, important and is a way to differentiate and select the institution and
program that best meet one’s educational and career goals.
For more information about accrediting bodies in the U.S. please visit these links:
Every year, National Nurses Week focuses attention on the diverse ways America’s 3.1 million registered nurses work to save lives and to improve the health of millions of individuals. This year, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has selected “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care” as the theme for 2013.1
Annually, National Nurses Week begins on May 6, marked as RN Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. Traditionally, National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, who comprise the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care. During this week, Nightingale College honors its registered nurse graduates, current RN nursing students, and all nurses that walk in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale. Florence truly lit up the path for our success with her unwavering values.
Today and always, Nightingale College and its graduates walk in her footsteps of excellence, integrity, respecting humanity, continuous improvement, collaboration and accountability, and going beyond self.
Nightingale College understands the role RNs play in the ongoing improvement and transformation of health care systems of this great nation. ANA reports, “The Affordable Care Act and the Institute of medicine’s (IOM) Future of Nursing report places nurses at the center of health care transformation in the United States.”1 Nightingale College invites RNs everywhere to positively influence the quality of care and overall performance of the health care system to which they belong.
ANA’s website provides a brief history of National Nurses Week:
1953 Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made.
1954 National Nurse Week was observed from October 11 – 16. The year of the observance marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. Representative Frances P. Bolton sponsored the bill for a nurse week. Apparently, a bill for a National Nurse Week was introduced in the 1955 Congress, but no action was taken. Congress discontinued its practice of joint resolutions for national weeks of various kinds.
1972 Again a resolution was presented by the House of Representatives for the President to proclaim “National Registered Nurse Day.” It did not occur.
1974 In January of that year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed that May 12 would be “International Nurse Day.” (May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.) Since 1965, the ICN has celebrated “International Nurse Day.”
1974 In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.
1978 New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declared May 6 as “Nurses Day.” Edward Scanlan, of Red Bank, N.J., took up the cause to perpetuate the recognition of nurses in his state. Mr. Scanlan had this date listed in Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events. He promoted the celebration on his own.
1981 ANA, along with various nursing organizations, rallied to support a resolution initiated by nurses in New Mexico, through their Congressman, Manuel Lujan, to have May 6, 1982, established as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”
1982 In February, the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982 as “National Nurses Day.” The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”
1982 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6, 1982.
1990 The ANA Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 – 12, 1991, as National Nurses Week.
1993 The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years.
1996 The ANA initiated “National RN Recognition Day” on May 6, 1996, to honor the nation’s indispensable registered nurses for their tireless commitment 365 days a year. The ANA encourages its state and territorial nurses associations and other organizations to acknowledge May 6, 1996 as “National RN Recognition Day.”
1997 The ANA Board of Directors, at the request of the National Student Nurses Association, designated May 8 as National Student Nurses Day.
As of 1998, May 8 is National Student Nurses Day and as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week.
Nightingale College wishes all current and future RNs a happy Nurses Week!