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The Importance of CCNE Accreditation for Nursing Education: How the STU RN to BSN Program Sets You Up for Success

Nursing education must maintain the highest academic standards to prepare the next generation of nurses. Accreditation is one way nursing students can ensure that their program meets or exceeds educational guidelines and relevant learning outcomes. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is one of the top national accreditation agencies for nursing programs.

The St. Thomas University (STU) online Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is CCNE accredited, which signals to students, nurse employers and the public that graduates of the program participated in a well-designed and practical curriculum. The designation validates that the accelerated program format meets the highest standards the CCNE sets, meaning graduates possess the comprehensive knowledge and competencies required for professional, modern nursing practice.

What Is CCNE Accreditation?

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, CCNE accreditation ensures “the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency/fellowship programs in nursing.” The certification is voluntary, as programs undergo self-study, report submissions and on-site evaluations by peer reviewers. The accreditation serves as a seal of approval that signifies a nursing program meets rigorous standards and engages in effective educational practices, according to The Journal of Perinatal Education.

What Are CCNE Accreditation Standards?

The CCNE accreditation process is comprehensive and involves a thorough review of the nursing program’s compliance with CCNE standards. According to Indeed, those standards include evaluating “a nursing program’s mission, goals, integrity, performance and utilization of resources.” The review process also considers the program’s action plans for improvement.

“Once an institution receives a CCNE accreditation for its nursing program, it’s important to maintain the accreditation,” notes Indeed. “This involves visits from the CCNE, self-assessments and peer reviews from those involved with the nursing program.” By adhering to these standards, CCNE-accredited programs demonstrate their commitment to excellence and continuous improvement in nursing education.

What Are the Benefits of CCNE Accreditation?

CCNE accreditation offers several benefits to students, according to the Nursing Made Incredibly Easy journal. The following are key examples:

Transparency and Accountability

Accreditation increases transparency about the curriculum, faculty, resources and overall educational experience. Plus, the nationwide recognition enhances the program’s credibility and reputation and demonstrates accountability for meeting professional nursing standards. For example, if an accredited program substantially alters aspects of its curriculum and significantly reduces program resources, it must inform CCNE of those changes. The ongoing communication and reporting structure allows prospective or current students to make informed decisions about their educational choices.

Increased Employment Opportunities

Some employers may prefer or require nurses to hold degrees from CCNE-accredited programs. Most Magnet-recognized hospitals require nurses to hold BSN degrees, and those with accredited degrees have a leg up. Graduates from STU’s program have a competitive edge in the job market.

Eligibility for Additional and Advanced Degrees

Credits earned from accredited programs can often be applied to higher degrees, making it easier for graduates of accredited programs to pursue advanced nursing degrees, such as master’s or doctoral degrees. Nursing specialty certifications may also require applicants to hold accredited degrees.

Access to Tuition Assistance

State and federal financial programs will often only dispense funding to students enrolled in accredited programs. This rule ensures that students are investing in a quality degree program with proven learner outcomes and workplace success.

Choosing an Accredited RN to BSN Online

For individuals considering an online RN to BSN degree, selecting an accredited program offers another layer of reassurance. Graduates can receive a comprehensive and valuable education in a flexible and convenient format, balancing their professional goals and personal commitments.

With CCNE accreditation, students can be confident that they receive high-quality instruction that meets the national standards in nursing education. This accreditation status sets graduates of STU’s online RN to BSN program up for success in their nursing careers and provides them with the knowledge, skills and credentials to excel in the field.

Learn more about STU’s online RN to BSN program.

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