can someone please explain what all this terms mean when looking for a Nursing school. NCSBN, APPROVED and ACCREDITED. Thanks

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Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

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Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

NCSBN stands for National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

A lot of people think approved and accredited mean the same thing/are interchangeable, but they are not.

A program that has been approved by a state Board of Nursing (BON) means that the program meets the state's requirements for students to be eligible to take NCLEX after completing their education. Your state BON should have a list of approved programs available.

Accreditation is a voluntary action that schools may take. It does, however, help in some cases when applying to schools for further education to have attended an accredited program. Even some employers have started requiring graduation from an accredited school.

There are two national bodies that accredit nursing programs. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits all types of nursing programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits baccalaureate, graduate, and nursing residency programs. Both organizations offer searches on their websites to find accredited programs.