You probably do care, but do you know why you should?
It’s safe to say that almost every student in Roseman University’s online accelerated BSN program researched nursing school accreditation before enrolling. However, not many people completely understand the who, what, why, and how behind accreditation. This term certainly suggests legitimacy and formality, but what exactly does it mean? Are there different types or levels of accreditation? How is being approved by certain organizations different than accreditation? Does the U.S. Department of Education accredit colleges and universities?
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a process of validation in which colleges and universities are evaluated. It is completely voluntary and not legally mandated that a university seek accreditation. The standards for accreditation are set by a peer review board, whose members include faculty from various accredited colleges and universities. In other words, accreditation is an endorsement that higher education institutions use to let potential students know that they have passed certain criteria to be able to offer a valid education and that their programs are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
What is the difference between being accredited and approved?
A fundamental difference is that approval is required by law for a nursing school to enroll, administer courses, and graduate students. Approvals are governed by each state’s board of nursing (BON), which has a set of minimum standards nursing schools must meet and maintain. Furthermore, approvals are important since your nursing school must be approved by your given state in order for you to be able to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
Why is accreditation important?
Accreditation is important for many reasons, and may impact students directly.
- If you enroll in an unaccredited school, you may not be eligible for federal and state financial aid programs, nor able to receive tuition reimbursement from your employer.
- Entrance into a graduate program may be dependent upon the accreditation of the school or program where you earned your undergraduate degree.
- Earning a degree from an unaccredited school or program may prevent you from becoming licensed in certain professions.
Who or what receives accreditation?
Universities and colleges may become accredited, as well as individual degrees and programs. Of course, the accreditation process and the accreditation itself is different between a university as an organization and single programs. Roseman University is an accredited institution, but they also chose to secure nursing school accreditation as well.
Who grants or provides accreditation?
Many people assume the U.S. Department of Education is an accrediting body; however it is not. Rather, the DOE recognizes the agencies that handle accreditation. In fact, the Secretary of Education is responsible for providing a database of recognized accrediting organizations. Once recognized, these agencies are designated as reliable sources on determining the quality of colleges and universities. The Secretary of Education also recognizes organizations that provide approval of public postsecondary vocational education and nurse education.
A number of recognized accrediting agencies exist, and they can be categorized into two groups: regionally accrediting and nationally accrediting agencies. Arguably a third category is professional or programmatic accreditation, where additional endorsements are made to certain degree programs within a given university.
Nursing School and Program Accreditation
The two national entities that grant accreditation to nursing programs are:
- The Accreditation Committee for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission), which accredits LPN programs, associate, diploma, baccalaureate (BSN), masters, and doctorate degree programs.
- The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which accredits only baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs.
Again, accreditation at the institution and program levels are not mandatory, but they are indicators of quality. As long as your nursing program is approved by a state BON, you will be able to sit for NCLEX after graduation.
When researching colleges or universities, be sure to ask these questions about nursing school accreditation and approval:
- Is the school accredited? If so, by which organization?
- Is the nursing program accredited?
- If the program is not yet accredited, is it in the process of being approved for accreditation?
- Has the nursing program been approved by the state board of nursing?
What You Should Know about Roseman University’s Nursing School Accreditation
Roseman University of Health Sciences is a regionally accredited institution. It is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The Roseman Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is accredited by the Accreditation Committee for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Nevada State Board of Nursing.
Earning an BSN through Roseman University’s accelerated nursing program is a fast way to acquire the skills and credentials needed to pursue a nursing career. For more information about the program, contact us to speak with an advisor or call 1.866.892.2928