FNP program accredited by the WASC but not the CCNE, currently going for certification...



I'm looking for expanding my education to the graduate level for FNP. i'm looking at applying to the University of Southern California which is extremely expensive ($84k minus financial aid). speaking with the representative he stated that the program is new and they are going for ccne certification and can take up to a year to receive. The university has a medical school, CRNA program and an already nursing program but the FNP program is new. the representative told me in order to obtain ccne cert they have to have active students. the first cohort just started this past august. i have applied to other schools as well but I am looking for opinions about if it's worth pursuing this institution if accepted.

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juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

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Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 31 years experience.

There are a couple issues I would want ironed out if I were to attend this program:

1. Would CCNE accreditation be in place by the time you finish the program? AANP and ANCC requires that your FNP program is accredited by either CCNE or ACEN. Having said that, my opinion is that accreditation isn't that difficult to achieve and a badge of accreditation seems to be passed around like candy to every corner nursing school in all the 50 states. An institution like USC will easily get that designation.

2. Does the program have California BRN recognition or is it working on achieving that? If the program is recognized by the BRN, you would get a license as an NP in California without national certification from either ANCC or AANP. It is however advised that you obtain national certification as many employers ask for it.


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It's a catch-22 that USC can't get CCNE accreditation until it has students, because it transfers the risk to the student.

I think you have to weigh the possibility (however remote) that USC does not receive accreditation by the time you graduate. How risk tolerant are you? Perhaps if they give you so much in financial aid that the program is much cheaper than your other options then that will make the risk acceptable to you. Or if there is an accreditation delay, will you be able to delay your graduation until it is received - will that be an issue for you? As PP stated, it's unlikely that an institution like USC with a viable BSN level program wouldn't get approved but it's still a risk.