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School still not regionally accredited-Fortis College

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by Nightlife Nightlife (New) New

I've been attending a nursing school here in Miami, Florida, for over a year now, and my problem is that the school is still not regionally accredited. I was told (and still continue to be told) that the accreditation is a process and the school is doing everything to make it happen.

I chose this school for convenience. It is close to home, and at the time the hours were manageable. Now, I find that I'm in school all day (due to scheduling of classes that are out of my control), I still have to work (weekends), and I have a 2 year old at home.

I'm halfway through the program, the school is still not yet regionally accredited, and I'm worried. I work as a CNA at a reputable hospital, that does not recognize my school. Therefore they will not consider me as a candidate in their program for graduated nurses, and will not hire me.

Need some advice. Is/Was anyone ever in this situation?

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

As I recall, Florida is kinda 'off' from the way other states regulate nursing programs, in that they are regulated by the dept of health rather than the state BON if they have national accreditation. But you are referring to 'regional accreditation'... and this is what largely determines whether your courses are transferable to other colleges in the future if you want to continue your education. Is this what you mean?

What's your underlying concern? That you won't be able to get license endorsement in other states? Credits not transferring?

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

Is your school nationally accredited? That should be what your hospital is looking at. Regional accreditation is what you need to transfer credits. Are you going to a for profit school. They love to spin accreditation and tell you they are working on it when they have been denied. If your hospital does not recognize your school, I bet most hospitals won't either. You may have a problem finding a job.

If you knew going in that your hospital does not accept that school for hiring purposes, then perhaps it it time to make a correction in the course of your career, since the other factors are also a problem. Can you afford to start over at another school?

If you knew going in that your hospital does not accept that school for hiring purposes, then perhaps it it time to make a correction in the course of your career, since the other factors are also a problem. Can you afford to start over at another school?

Perhaps a better question to ask is:

Can you afford NOT to?

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

I am so sorry you are going through this...one would think that for almost $50,000.00 in tuition they would be more honest with you. I cannot even find that they have applied for provisional accreditation with the national accreditation organizations. Your first clue should have been that your organization doesn't accept graduates from this program.

Many of the "for profit" schools, that are phenomenally expensive, do not seek national accreditation...mostly because they would not be approved. In this current job climate and everyone rushing to the profession "that always has a job and makes good money" there has been a proliferation of sub par programs.....buyer beware.

Your school is approved to take the NCLEX. But there will be facilities and states that will not allow you to work or have licensure. Regardless what the school told you....the fact remains that it will limit your job opportunities. These programs know that people are "desperate" for the "quick fix" and it is my belief that they prey on people.

I think this link will tell you how Fortis feels about National NURSING accreditation....What You Need to Know About Nursing Accreditation by Dr. Robert Anders

After reading the statement by Dr. Anders regarding accreditation, a chill went down my spine.

If this guy was really head of nursing at UTEP and is being accurately quoted, he should know better.

NLNAC? CCNE? Does a nursing program have to be accredited by one of these agencies to be legitimate? The short answer is No.” That said, occasions may arise where NLNAC or CCNE accreditation might help one nursing candidate stand out among others.

Yeah. Those "occasions" include applying for work at most hospitals (as the OP has discovered), getting a license in another state (even if you got one in this state, that does NOT mean another state will license you, and most will not), applying to any sort of further education in nursing at a real school, applying for a job that isn't bedside in any capacity (like public health, school nursing, case management...).

But hey, it's only "occasions," right?

OP and other grads of this "program" are, for want of a better word, screwed.

Chilling, indeed.

Those "occasions" include applying for work at most hospitals (as the OP has discovered), getting a license in another state (even if you got one in this state, that does NOT mean another state will license you, and most will not) ...

Which states are the "most" that will not license the OP? While I'm certainly not defending the school, AFAIK, there is no US state that requires ACEN or CCNE accreditation of your school in order to be eligible for licensure. If that has changed recently, please point me in the direction of some evidence, as I do try to keep up with this sort of thing.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Some states actually specify "Graduation from an accredited school" most of these states also have concurrency issues

Alabama

Arizona

California

Georgia

Illinois

Kansas

Louisiana

Maryland

North Dakota

Oklahoma

Vermont

Washington

Excelsior has had issues with Illinois and California that I know of....I know ISU had issues in California. If not nationally accredited each state will decide if the school you attended in another state meets their educational requirements at the time of Your graduation. If not then they will not endorse your license. I know my state states.....

Registered Nurse (RN): graduation from an RN education program

approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (Board)

Fortis is not approved by my board so if I went to school there I would have to submit documentation (like IEN nurses) of proof of my education they may or may not approve it.

Edited by Esme12

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Texas....

[h=2]Choosing a Nursing Program[/h] It is always important to investigate the credentials of a program of study before investing time and money in the pursuit of education. All potential nursing students should be aware that any program of study they are considering should be appropriately licensed and approved by a state board of nursing before they enroll in the program. [h=2]Unapproved Nursing Educational Programs Operating in Texas[/h] The Board is aware of six schools operating in Texas without Board approval. Graduates from these programs would not be eligible to take the NCLEX® licensure examination. Review the BON News posting for more information and a list of the six schools.

  • UPDATE - On May 29, 2012, the Office of the Attorney General issued a permanent injunction against Richardson-based Esther Medical Institute, Inc. (EMI), its owner Esther Oleru, and Stanley Jean, owner of Georgia-based ATCI Medical Institute and Oleru's offshore financial sponsor, for failure to obtain valid licenses or exemptions to operate a career school under the Texas Education Code. The judgment also held the owner of the now-defunct healthcare school liable for $840,000 in restitution to students, imposed a $150,000 civil penalty, and ordered the defendants to pay any attorney fees associated with the case.

[h=2]Out-of-State Programs/Online Programs/Correspondence Courses[/h]

    The Texas Board of Nursing (BON or Texas Board) approves and regulates nursing education programs in the State of Texas. The Texas BON recognizes graduates from pre-licensure nursing education programs that are approved/accredited by other State Boards of Nursing as eligible to apply to take the NCLEX® examination(s) and apply for licensure in Texas.
    Approval by the BON for pre-licensure nursing education programs in Texas is mandatory by statute. Nursing education programs offering baccalaureate nursing courses to registered nurses are not under the mandated jurisdiction of the BON. RN to BSN students are already licensed to practice as registered nurses. Many of the generic pre-licensure baccalaureate degree nursing education programs in Texas approved by the BON have RN to BSN tracks included in their programs.


    Listings of all vocational and professional nursing education programs approved by the BON are available on the BON web site. The contact information for each program is included in the lists. Some may offer online or correspondence courses as educational options when completing the nursing education program. The programs can be contacted directly to find out what types of educational options are available.


    Out-of-state nursing education programs can be contacted directly for information and specific questions about the program and the program's approval/accreditation status in their state. It is recommended that individuals research the approval/accreditation status and credibility of any nursing educational program before enrolling in individual courses or the entire program of study
.

Some states actually specify "Graduation from an accredited school" most of these states also have concurrency issues

Alabama

Arizona

California

Georgia

Illinois

Kansas

Louisiana

Maryland

North Dakota

Oklahoma

Vermont

Washington

Excelsior has had issues with Illinois and California that I know of....I know ISU had issues in California. If not nationally accredited each state will decide if the school you attended in another state meets their educational requirements at the time of Your graduation. If not then they will not endorse your license. I know my state states.....

Fortis is not approved by my board so if I went to school there I would have to submit documentation (like IEN nurses) of proof of my education they may or may not approve it.

I can't believe I've spent the time to do this, and I'm really not trying to be argumentative, I just want to have a clear understanding of this issue (because, as I said, I really don't want to be promulgating bad info on this site), but I have checked the BON website of every state you have listed above (except the WA state website, which has some sort of technical problem that won't let me into it) --

The AL BON makes reference to applicants having graduated from a program "accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education." To me, that refers to academic accreditation, not ACEN or CCNE accreditation.

The CA BRN sometimes uses the word "approved" and sometimes uses "accredited" to refer to state BON approval, which is admittedly confusing -- but I don't see any specific reference to ACEN (or NLNAC that has been changed yet :)) or CCNE anywhere.

Every other state on your list talks about requiring candidates to be graduates of a nursing program "approved" by the BON of another state. Nowhere do I see any reference to CCNE or ACEN accreditation. Am I just looking in the wrong place? Can you please direct me to someplace where it is documented that these states (or any US state) require ACEN or CCNE accreditation of your school in order to be eligible for licensure?

People occasionally post something here about their state requiring ACEN/CCNE accreditation, but nobody ever provides any actual documentation. Again, I'm not trying to be snarky or argumentative; I just want to know, since it's a pretty important issue.

Thank you! :)

(ETA: Just got a response to my e-mail to the AL BON -- they definitely do not require ACEN or CCNE accreditation for licensure.)

Edited by elkpark

Esme has beaten me to the punch, but there it is. (We are both in MA.) Perhaps other states' residents can quickly check c their BoNs and enquire whether Fortis grads can get their license from elsewhere endorsed there.

The AL BON makes reference to applicants having graduated from a program "accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education." To me, that refers to academic accreditation, not ACEN or CCNE accreditation.

What's the accrediting body for Fortis, and is it recognized as an accrediting body by the US DoE?

What's the accrediting body for Fortis, and is it recognized as an accrediting body by the US DoE?

"Each of our colleges and institutes are institutionally accredited by one of the following accrediting bodies:

  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
  • Accrediting Commission of the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
  • Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE)"

The list above is of the agencies accrediting Fortis, according to the Fortis website. According to the DOE list of approved accrediting agencies, all of the above except the ACCSC are recognized by the DOE as approved accrediting agencies (and maybe the ACCSC is in there somewhere, but I'm not seeing it right away and I already can't believe I've spent this much time on this issue).

Accredited Colleges and Vocational Schools at Fortis

College Accreditation in the United States-- Pg 10

I'm with you. :)

I think I see the problem. None of these specifically address nursing education, which is the big concern when someone wants to evaluate a graduate of a nursing program. The nursing accreditation bodies are what counts for most entities in nursing land.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

I never said that schools HAD to be nationally accredited....I said that if they are state approved another may NOT approve the school you went to if they were not nationally accredited. The OP already stated her facility won't hire new grads from this program so that is a red flag.

California will not take out of state Excelsior grads nor did they approve of the ISU programs.

If your program is approved by your state to take NCLEX you take NCLEX. Once you are licensed and apply for endorsement your school will have to be approved by the state you are applying....they may or may not grant you licensure based on that education. Some of the regionally accredited schools are not recognized nationally and they look at the education on a state by state person to person assessment.

The state of MA

A prospective RN must attend a Board approved program. There are a number of professional nursing programs approved within Massachusetts, including associate, baccalaureate, diploma, and direct entry masters (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/quality/boards/rnnecpro.pdf). A candidate may attend a comparable program located in another state and approved by the Board of that state; however, the candidate may not attend a school that appears on the Board's list of non-approved programs.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Illinois

Each applicant who is licensed in another jurisdiction shall file a completed, signed application for licensure on the basis of endorsement, on forms supplied by the Division. The application shall include:

1) the fee required by Section 1300.30(a)(1);

2) proof of graduation from a nursing education program that meets the requirements of Section 1300.340;

3) proof of passage of an examination recognized by the Division, upon recommendation of the Board (i.e., National Council Licensure Examination for professional nurses, or State Board Test Pool Examination for professional nurses or practical nurses);

Their criteria for approval....http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/068/068013000C03400R.html