This archived article was written by: Josie Sue Slade
With many concerns from USU Eastern nursing students, Sandie Nadelson, USU nursing director, took comments and concerns to the State Board of Nursing, Education Committee, at the Dec. 4 meeting in Salt Lake City.
In 2012, USUE failed to meet the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) standards and professional nursing guidelines needed to keep USUE accredited. According to their official site (www.aacn.nche.edu) students need an 80 percent pass rate in their state nursing board exams in order to remain accredited. The combined classes at USUE, USU Blanding and Vernal students did not meet this goal.
When a nursing school loses its accreditation, students have the possibility to lose their year as well as the risk of not graduating from an accredited program, despite the fact that they applied before the school lost its accreditation.
It is still unknown whether or not USUE will lose its accreditation, with some nursing students concerned.
Nadelson told the board, “We may not have time to reapply for accreditation before the current students need to graduate. Although we will reapply, I’m concerned for our students. If we lost our accreditation, it’s like them losing their work.
These students applied to the USUE program while it was accredited and assumed they would be graduating from an accredited program, she said. Many of these students may have to start from the beginning just so that they can get the appropriate credentials needed to practice their education in the workforce.
Jodi Morstein, chairperson of the committee, said, “Many of your students can still get into an accredited bachelor programs even without graduating from an accredited program. The problem is when they get into the work force; some places require that their employees have graduated from an accredited program with all of their degrees.
“They may be required to prove that all their programs were accredited. You just have to tell your students that they should do some research and figure out where they are looking to work.”
Much of the accreditation problem is still up in the air for members of USUE’s campus.
While not all questions were answered at this meeting, it did clear some of the air for Nadelson and her students. The hope now is that USUE will not lose its accreditation and the students can continue on track as planned.
After the meeting, Susan Rasmussen, director of USU Vernal’s nursing, sent a letter to nursing students to let students know where USU stood with accreditation. This letter informed students that USU was doing everything they could to make sure USUE remains accredited.
Rasmussen wrote, “After careful consideration of our options, USU leadership have firmly committed to applying for accreditation as a new program, should we get bad news from the accrediting body. In addition, we had two hours of meeting after the State Board meeting to brainstorm about ways to provide RN to BSN options for you.”
This letter also included information that told students that, “the SUU nursing program- confirmed that our students would be eligible for their RN to BSN and the “accredited” program requirement would be waived for USU students.”