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Accreditation Questions?????


the adn program i am looking at a community college is regional accredited, but is in the process of national accreditation. will this hinder me if i want to go to an rn-bsn program in the future? the rn-bsn programs stated that an adn needs to be from an accredited institution, well the community college is accredited... so is it the school of the nursing program? anyone been in this situation i would appreciate the help.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

If you plan to attend a RN-to-BSN completion program in the future, you will likely run into issues later on down the line if the ADN program is not nationally accredited by the NLN (National League for Nursing). Although community colleges are regionally accredited, some of their nursing programs lack the national accreditation from an entity that specifically accredits nursing programs.

I wouldn't do it. Even if you don't plan on furthering your education now, you may later. We have a school in my area that has been "in the process of getting accreditation." Many people went there thinking that the issue would be resolved before they graduated....and it is not. 3 years later.

There are two separate types of accreditation that are involved when talking about nursing programs. One is the general academic accreditation of the overall institution, which you say your school has (most community colleges do -- the regional academic accreditation is usually only an issue with the proprietary (private-for-profit) career "schools"). The second type is nursing accreditation (NLNAC or CCNE -- at a community college, it would be NLNAC, because the CCNE only accredits baccalaureate and graduate programs). When BSN completion programs say you must have graduated from an accredited nursing program to be eligible, they mean nursing accreditation, not general academic accreditation.

If a nursing program successfully completes the NLNAC process and becomes accredited, the accreditation will be retroactive to back when the school started the process -- so individuals who were students and graduated while the school was actively in the accreditation process will be considered graduates of an accredited program. However, that only applies if the school is actively in the process of becoming accredited, not just saying that it's going to do that soon. The process does take a few years. Some schools, esp. the proprietary tech/voc schools, attempt to market themselves to students by saying they're seeking accreditation when they're nowhere close to actually applying for accreditation -- they're just thinking about whether they might want to start the process someday (claiming you're accredited if you're not is an outright lie; "seeking" accreditation (or "in the process") is a v. general concept that could be defined many ways, so I guess they feel they're not actually lying and can get away with that ... :uhoh3:). The NLNAC website (NLNAC - National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission) includes a list of "candidate" schools (schools that are currently in the process) and you can check whether the NLNAC considers your school to be seeking accreditation :), or whether this is wishful thinking and/or a marketing ploy on your school's part.

I would say it's pretty safe if a school shows up on the NLNAC "candidate" list -- the process is expensive, and, in general, schools don't formally apply and begin the actual process unless they're pretty darned sure they meet the requirements and are going to be successful.