NLNAC vs. CCNE Accreditation
- 0Oct 28, '06 by zubi14What's the difference? Some schools are NLNAC accredited and some are only CCNE accredited. Is one better than the other?
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- 0Oct 29, '06 by abookerThis is a case of tradition yielding to market forces. Nursing is one of the few professions with more than one accrediting agency.
NLNAC was first back in 1952 (but its role goes back to 1893). It ran into problems complying with 11 of the 77 new Higher Education Act (HEA) accreditation rules in 1996, and the Department of Education became annoyed. The CCNE stepped in and began its own accreditation of institutions in 1998 but only for BSN programs and above.
Personally, I feel that the NLNAC accreditation is better, because it supports a greater diversity of institutional missions and therefore provides greater opportunities for students.
I also favor the NLNAC because, last time I looked, it had an explicit standard addressing a program's integrity, which the CCNE lacked.
This is an important question, because controlling accreditation basically controls the profession. Congress refers to these organizations as "gatekeepers" and sees close ties between America's higher education and the higher quality of its employees in the global economy. Accreditation decisions in nursing guide where money will be spent, and therefore determine which institutions dominate, how they operate, and what values they promulgate.
The CCNE is part of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) which has a powerful political agenda (the BSN v. ADN thing). While appearing to encourage competition by offering institutions a choice of accreditors, they strive to limit competition in nursing education by eliminating diploma and associate degree program graduates from being able to sit for the licensing exam.
Which one is better might depend on which side of the BSN v. ADN debate you're on. Do you favor inclusivity, or exclusivity?
Some folks might argue that both of them are bad, because the accreditation process emphasizes inputs and procedures over real educational quality and learning.Last edit by abooker on Oct 29, '06
- 0Oct 29, '06 by zubi14Well, the reason I ask is because I soon will be applying to schools in New Jersey. I already have a bachelors degree in psych and I'm looking to pursue either an accelerated BSN degree or an ADN mainly due to family commitments (I have a 1 year old daughter). Anyway, I recently attended an information session at one of the schools (Rutgers). One woman told us that we have to be very careful when deciding on schools. She said that some schools in the state are not accredited and students graduating from there are not getting jobs. She didn't mention the school's name, but she did hint that it was UMDNJ. I was really surprised because I thought that UMDNJ was well reputable and when I went to their website, they indicated that they were NLNAC accredited. Rutgers on the other hand is CCNE accredited. My concern is that I don't want to complete a nursing program and then not end up with a job because it's not accredited or it not the "right" accreditation.... Thanks for your help. Any insight is greatly appreciated.
- 0Oct 29, '06 by olivia28I have the same concerns. I was accepted to a school that is not accredited by either agency. I have asked why and they said it is necessaryto keep tuition costs low. THey are recognized by the State Dept of Education and the few graduates I know from the school a re all employed locally and said they had no problem getting jobs. But, do employers really look down on you if you are a graduate from a school that is not accredited by one of these agencies?
- 0Oct 29, '06 by mixyRNQuote from olivia28I had many of these same questions when choosing a school for 2 main reasons:I have the same concerns. I was accepted to a school that is not accredited by either agency. I have asked why and they said it is necessaryto keep tuition costs low. THey are recognized by the State Dept of Education and the few graduates I know from the school a re all employed locally and said they had no problem getting jobs. But, do employers really look down on you if you are a graduate from a school that is not accredited by one of these agencies?
1. I know I will be moving out of the area in the next 10 years
2. I will be earning my BSN in the next 10 years.
Ultimately, my first choice school just received NLNAC accredidation in August, and I begin in January, so I didn't need to make a decision to switch schools. My main concerns were that I didn't want to put 2 years of work into a degree that would not transfer toward my BSN (I plan to eventually become an NP) and also wanted to be able to move out of state and still practice as an RN.
- 0Oct 29, '06 by LadyT618Quote from micharNLNAC does accredit Master's programs. Check out www.nlnac.org to check out Master's programs.My program is very new (this is it's 3rd year) and they have CCNE accrediation, and according to the director they went with CCNE because they hope to get a masters program in the not too far future and NLN doesn't accredit master's programs.
- 0Oct 30, '06 by abookerMANY nursing leaders are advocating for the BSN degree. But they're only leaders if we follow ...
Back to accreditation ... I read a report from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions which observed that accreditors often have "other agendas that have little to do with quality" (United States, p.3). The report cites examples of how accreditors have instructed a college to construct a new building (p.15), use a different logo, manage an athletic program differently, or even change the institutional mission statement (19). Political correctness, not professional competence, is often a concern of accrediting organizations.
I thank God I am going to be (I hope) a Registered Nurse, and not an Accredited Nurse!
Good luck to all of you applying to nursing schools, and making some difficult decisions in the process. I know our nursing leadership has had to make some difficult decisions, too. I'd like to share something from Lillian Antoinette "Toni" Bargagliotti, DNSc, RN, who wrote Chapter 2 in my nursing trends book (Cherry & Jacob, pp. 28-46). She is president of the National League for Nursing (NLN), which has no official position in the BSN v. ADN debate. I cut & pasted this from her job interview for Dean of the College of Nursing from University of Missouri, St. Louis (As quoted in Hackbarth, 2006):
Jessica Suhl, senior, nursing, asked, in terms of hiring faculty,
was an instructor with a Ph.D. or one with a master's degree
with 10 years experience more important?
"We need to the hire the kind of people to do the kind of job we
need to do," Bargagliotti said.
For me, I needed to find the kind of nursing program that will help me learn how to do the kind of job *I* need to do. For me, that was an ADN program, because I believe that sound nursing theory / research / policy / teaching / ethics / accreditation / etc. ALL OF IT, must absolutely be based on sound, evidence-based clinical practice.
Check this out: http://www.nlnac.org/About%20NLNAC/pass_rates.htm
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S.R. (2005). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends & management. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Hackbarth, P. (2006, March ). Nursing program searches for dean. Accessed October 30, 2006 from http://www.thecurrentonline.com/medi...rentonline.com
United States. Cong. Senate. Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Higher Education Accreditation: How Can the System Better Ensure Quality and Accountability?. 108th Cong., 2nd sess. Washington: GPO, 2004. (Please note: This is MLA style, I think, not APA. A diversity of styles can reflect the same meaning and provide the same value to the client. There is no "right" style here; different professionals have different points of view. I'm trying to find mine.)Last edit by abooker on Oct 31, '06