Accredited Program Nursing Approval vs. State Approval Alone


  • Specializes in oncology. Has 46 years experience.

    In order to take NCLEX your nursing school must be approved by the board of nursing in the state the school exists. It does not mean you have to take the NCLEX in that state (there may be some exceptions to this..such as how many times a student has failed NCLEX or graduation from an nontraditional program).  All state BONs belong to the NCSBN and all administer the same test according to the blueprints published on their site (this blueprint is a great resource for test takers)  So, ALL nursing schools are approved by their respective  state boards of nursing or they could not exist...have students attend clinical, etc.

      Accreditation by a  Programmatic NURSING ACCREDITATION AGENCY like ACEN or CCRN is not required but can mean a lot to a student who has studied for 1-4 years, put their life on hold (time that cannot be regained) and spent $$$ or still owes a lot of $$. A  Programmatic Nursing accreditation is different than a national accreditation that many schools apply for to allow their students to take out loans.

ACEN/CCRN looks at  the quality of the school. Accreditation by ACEN or CCRN has rigorous criteria including NCLEX pass rates, % graduating, employment rates post-graduation),  quality of curriculum, quality of school equipment, educational degrees and achievements of faculty  etc.

     Nursing Accreditation Agencies investigate the whole program and make sure it is financially stable. In recent years we have seen some schools fold because they were not financially stable-- The following colleges did not have an agency truly investigating if there were the funds on hand to continue the school's educational program.  3 of these were:

Corinthian College (more than 100 campuses)

ITT Technical Institute

Education Corporation of America (70 campuses)

     Accreditation by a nursing body is essential for more than the investigation of financial health. Accreditation may impact on your ability to pass NCLEX the first time.

     An article in the Journal of Nursing Regulation (February 2020) by Roseman University nursing researchers found that there was a statistically significant increase in NCLEX first-time pass rates in practical nurse, ADN and BSN programs that were accredited. While graduating from a non-accredited program may not always have a long term impact on moving ahead in life,  an NCLEX failure would delay obtaining a job and any future plans, while still being on the hook for the repayment of tuition paid by loans. Graduating from a non-accredited school can also impact future enrollment in some nursing schools that you may wish to attend for your BSN, MSN. There are several articles about this in AN. 

State Approval is not accreditation, it is only approval. A lot of times students will say "my program is state accreditated" it is only approved. 

Thank you for your time in reading this



Specializes in Med-Surg/Tele/ER/Urgent Care. Has 46 years experience.

I think you mean to say CCNE ( Commision of Collegiate Nursing Education ) accreditation for BSN/MSN programs not CCRN.