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Should I attend non-accredited nursing program?

Updated | Posted
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

Thanks for giving me a chance to talk with you.

Is there any nurse who is graduated from not accredited ADN program by CCEN, ACEN?

I'm thinking to apply Rasmussen Illinois ADN program, But I figured out Rasmussen Illinois ADN program is not accredited by CCEN, ACEN.
That program is accredited by only the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

I'm wondering Rasmussen Illinois ADN program grad has any limit for their nursing career.
(example getting a job, trying to get master or doc degree)

I know the disadvantage of non-accredited (or not accredited by the NLN/CCNE) school.

1. It's hard to get licensure in another state.
2. It's hard to transfer credit to another accredited school(ACEN,CCNE) if you want to go to graduate school

Funny thing is RN-BSN program in Rasmussen is accredited by CCEN.
So If I graduate this RN-BSN program, after ADN program
all the disadvantages of Rasmussen Illinois ADN program will be gone?

I'm confused by their system.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for helping!

Dear Wondering,

I graduated from a non-accredited community college and now have my Master's degree.

The nursing program I graduated from is highly regarded in our community and graduates are often preferred by employers over the CCNE accredited BSN program in our area. That's because the community college graduates have a reputation for hitting the ground running and are considered to get up to speed faster.

Don't get me wrong. You won't meet anyone who is more a proponent of higher education than I am. The nursing profession needs BSN graduates for respect and credibility. Personally, education changes you in ways you can't know until you experience it.

So why are some excellent programs not accredited? It can be a matter of finances and resources. Accreditation is expensive. An accredited program must have a certain number of masters' or doctorally prepared faculty.

The program I graduated from has an affiliation with several higher education schools that makes transition to their BSN programs easy and seamless.

So the key things are:

  • Do your community hospitals/employers support and hire ADN graduates?
  • Does the ADN program have an agreement with higher education colleges?

In your case, you could go on to the BSN accredited program and to graduate school after that without a problem.

I hope this helps, good luck!

Nurse Beth

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