With so many nursing programs out there, it can be hard to tell which claims about their quality are true. Thankfully, the nursing industry has created standards that you can refer to help make your decision. One of the most important requirements you should keep in mind is whether or not the nursing program you choose is accredited by The Collegiate Commission for Nursing Education (CCNE).
Accreditation marks program quality awarded after it meets rigorous standards and benchmarks. This blog will discuss what exactly CCNE accreditation is and why nursing accreditation should matter to you when selecting a program.
What is CCNE accreditation?
The Collegiate Commission for Nursing Education (CCNE) is an accrediting body that was created by The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in 1996 and began accrediting in 1998. The CCNE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and evaluates nursing degree programs, including bachelor’s, master’s, and fellowship or residency programs.
While part of AACN, the CCNE works independently to evaluate and judge nursing program quality. The CCNE measures how well a program meets its stated goals, mission, and expected outcomes for students. Accreditation by the CCNE shows that the school not only offers a high-quality program to its students but is also committed to public health by supporting and encouraging improvements in nursing education practices.
Why CCNE Accreditation Matters in Utah
If you want to become a nurse in the Salt Lake City area, it’s vital to choose a nursing program with an industry-recognized accreditation from an organization like CCNE. By choosing an accredited nursing program, you can be confident that your program is committed to best educational practices and ongoing improvement.
If you’re looking for a nursing program in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, choosing an accredited school offers several benefits, including:
- Better Preparation for Advanced Practice: Since accredited pre-licensure nursing programs offer higher quality education, accreditation helps set students in Salt Lake City up to pursue advanced practice and other career advancement opportunities in the future.
- Meeting Community Health Needs: Accredited nursing programs in Salt Lake City are designed not only to meet employment demands but also to better serve the public health needs of the local community.
- Preferential Hiring and Licensure Requirements: In Salt Lake City, employers like Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health prefer hiring nurses with degrees from accredited institutions. This is mainly due to the fact that Utah requires its nurses graduated from an accredited nursing school. The Utah Division of Occupation and Professional Licensing requests transcripts from an accredited program when applying for RN licensure.
Overall, CCNE accreditation translates into better nursing education for its students and has various benefits for prospective students in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The CCNE Accreditation Process
A nursing program can gain accreditation if the school can demonstrate compliance with the four CCNE accreditation standards:
- Mission and Governance: This standard gauges alignment between the nursing program’s mission, goals, and outcomes with those of the institution. It scrutinizes whether the program’s objectives reflect standard nursing practices and meet community health needs.
- Institutional Commitment and Resources: CCNE assesses how well the school supports the nursing program in achieving its expected outcomes. This assessment includes checking if the program has sufficient funding, access to high-quality clinical sites, and robust academic support resources for students.
- Curriculum and Teaching-Learning Practices: This standard ensures the program’s curriculum aligns with its goals and student outcomes. It verifies if the curriculum reflects professional nursing standards and if the teaching practices foster the desired student learning outcomes.
- Assessment and Achievement of Program Outcomes: This standard ensures that the nursing program has effective processes in place to measure its success. It also checks if these measurements are proactively used for continual improvement.
The initial accreditation can extend to a maximum of five years, while re-accreditation can extend to a maximum of ten years. CCNE representatives visit the campus periodically, ensuring ongoing compliance with accreditation standards. This rigorous process ensures that accredited nursing schools consistently provide high-quality education.
Start Toward Your Nursing Career in Utah
Arizona College of Nursing is proud to be an accredited nursing school with CCNE, and we are pleased to offer our accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at our Salt Lake City, Utah, campus. If you are ready to kickstart your nursing career with an accredited nursing program, we invite you to explore our nursing program in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Get Started Today
Tana Bao MSN, FNP-BC, NP-C, APRN
Tana Bao is an experienced advanced practice registered nurse. She earned her BSN from The University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016 and her MSN from Thomas Jefferson University in 2019. She is board certified to practice as a family nurse practitioner with both The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (NP-C) and The American Nurses Credentialing Center (FNP-BC). Clinically, she has worked in various medical settings including family planning, women’s health, sleep medicine, and primary care. She now also writes professionally as a health content writer and journalist and is also pursuing a post master’s certificate in nursing education.
AACN. Baccalaureate & Graduate Nursing Program Application Process. https://www.aacnnursing.org/ccne-accreditation/what-we-do/bacc-grad-application-process
AACN. CCNE Accredited Programs. https://www.aacnnursing.org/ccne-accreditation/find-accredited-programs
AACN. CCNE Accreditation. https://www.aacnnursing.org/ccne-accreditation
AACN. CCNE Procedures for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs. https://www.aacnnursing.org/portals/0/PDFs/CCNE/Procedures.pdf
AACN. Preparing a Continuous Improvement Progress Report: Baccalaureate & Graduate Programs. https://www.aacnnursing.org/ccne-accreditation/what-we-do/cipr-baccalaureate-graduate-programs
AACN. Standards for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs. https://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/0/PDFs/CCNE/Standards-Final-2018.pdf
CCNE. Accredited Baccalaureate & Graduate Nursing Programs. https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing. Nursing Exam Information. https://dopl.utah.gov/nursing/exam-information/
Information in this blog post is accurate as of August 18, 2023.