Less than two years ago Southern Utah University launched its Bachelor of Science Nursing program, today it is announcing that it has received full accreditation of the program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), weeks before the first nurse graduates from the program.
SUU President Steve Bennion enthusiastically exclaims, “To obtain approval for the new program just over two years ago was great news. To see the program launched some 20 months ago by our terrific faculty is a dream come true. To witness 135 outstanding nursing students currently in the BSN program is indeed exciting, with many others waiting in the wings. And now, to receive word of the successful accreditation of this vibrant, high quality program by CCNE in such a short time means that even the very first graduates of the program on May 6th will finish in a fully-accredited program. This is great news and a remarkable accomplishment by our faculty and administration as this BSN program begins to meet critical nursing needs in Utah and our southwestern region.”
“I’m thrilled!” states Donna Lister, Nursing department chair. “This represents a tremendous amount of work by a large group of faculty, staff, students, administrators and community members.”
Karla Dalley, director of Nursing Program Development, says it is great for the department to be granted the accreditation in time for all students to graduate from an accredited program. “Many of our students are either applying or plan to apply to graduate schools that require students graduate from an accredited baccalaureate nursing program.” She continues with, “As you can guess, students in our inaugural class have been waiting anxiously for the news of our accreditation status.”
SUU Provost Abe Harraf says the CCNE review team’s stamp of approval is a great reflection on the University. “The reviewers were impressed with the quality of our faculty, dedication of our students, our curriculum, and a supporting environment of the college and the campus for nursing education.”
Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs preparing effective nurses.
CCNE serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing education programs and the continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education.
The SUU nursing program is providing a valuable commodity to communities around the southwest and more healthcare facilities are now stating that baccalaureate degrees are more a requirement than a luxury. The class entering the program this coming Fall has been full for months and there is already a list for those hoping to enter SUU’s program in the Spring of 2007.
Dalley made a strong statement about how amazing this achievement really is: “It is actually unimaginable to many of my nursing colleagues around the country that we at SUU Department of Nursing were able to accomplish a new program and CCNE accreditation in less than three years.”
Her colleague, Donna Lister, concurs: “I’m thrilled with what has happened. It has been pretty intense around here and it has been a short time frame, but we’ve shown that we put together a quality program. Now are graduates can move directly into a graduate nursing program and that’s one goal we wanted to accomplish.”
Accreditation by CCNE is intended to accomplish at least five general purposes: 1) To hold nursing education programs accountable to the community of interest, 2) To evaluate the success of a nursing education program in achieving its mission , goals, and outcomes, 3) To assess the extent to which a nursing education program meets accreditation standards 4) To inform the public of the purposes and values of accreditation and to identify nursing education programs that meet accreditation standards, and 5) To foster continuing improvement in nursing education programs—and thereby in professional practice.