Accreditation is a voluntary process that ensures a college, university, or degree program meets a universal standard for quality. Institutions are either regionally or nationally accredited. Regional Accreditation agencies oversee institutions within their particular clusters of states. National accrediting agencies accredit schools across the U.S. in specific categories.
Accreditation of a school’s nursing program entails an appraisal of various components, including course materials, qualifications of faculty members, the required clinical or practicum component, end of program student learning outcomes, and program outcomes including NCLEX pass rate, program completion and job placement.
The LA County College of Nursing and Allied Health (CONAH) is regionally accredited through the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC). Recently, the College was awarded approval for national accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
The ACEN is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) as a specialized accrediting agency for nursing education programs located in the United States and its territories. It is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for nursing education programs in the United States and its territories as well as for international nursing education programs. The ACEN accredits all types of nursing education programs, including clinical doctorate/DNP specialist certificate, master’s/post-master’s certificate, baccalaureate, associate, diploma, and practical nursing programs. It accredits nursing education programs in secondary, postsecondary, and hospital-based governing organizations that offer certificates, diplomas, or degrees.
The ACEN survey team spent three days from April 18th– 20th reviewing documents to validate CONAH’s compliance with national accreditation standards, such as curriculum development, student support services, student clinical placement, skills/simulation lab, student learning outcomes, and end of program outcomes. The surveyors were impressed with the nursing program, the systems and processes that are in place to support student learning and program outcomes, the resources and support provided to students, and most importantly the level of commitment from the faculty, staff, and students.
The evaluators reported that the nursing program is in compliance with all the standards and identified program strengths in two areas:
- The program has a dedicated Nursing Tutor to support student learning and understanding of course content
- The Student Success Committee workshops on Medical Spanish for students to help communicate with Spanish-speaking clients
There are advantages to getting a national certification, which include:
- Aiding in student recruitment and retention;
- Enables students’ eligibility for funding support from Federal and State agencies
- Establishes the Colleges’ eligibility for funding support from Federal Grants and Foundations
- Enhances the Colleges’ ability to transition from an Associate Degree to a Baccalaureate Degree Program
- Offers professional development opportunity and validation for faculty expertise
- Facilitates the transfer of credit. Transfer credits from nationally accredited colleges are widely accepted by most graduate schools who are also accredited nationally
- Assists employers seeking graduates who are competent practitioners
- More employers require graduation from a school which has been nationally accredited
Click here to learn more about the College of Nursing & Allied Health