Nursing programs and RN accreditationDecember 19, 2016
For many people, a career as a registered nurse (RN) can be a great way to pursue meaningful work, directly helping people live healthy and happy lives. One of the biggest benefits of being an RN is that it is not a career with great barriers to entry: It’s possible to become an RN after completing a two-year nursing program.
However, while the process of becoming an RN may take less time than the process of becoming an MD, this doesn’t mean that it’s a walk in the park. Receiving an accredited degree from a 2-year nursing program is a rigorous and time-intensive process.
In fact, the purpose of accreditation bodies is to ensure that each candidate who passes through a two-year nursing program is held to the same educational standards, and that regardless of where an individual received their degree, they are equally well-qualified to practice as an RN.
For this reason, it’s vitally important to know whether your degree program is accredited. Let’s review the two most important things to keep in mind about accreditation.
Accreditation Should Be Visible
Prospective student often times think that there’s no way to really know whether the two-year nursing program they are looking into is accredited or not.
Don’t be fooled: the program should have a clear and obvious demonstration of their accreditation present on their website, and admissions counselors should be immediately aware of the program’s accreditation status.
For example, Dallas Nursing Institute lists their accreditation and approvals prominently on their website. From the school’s perspective, the quality of their accreditation is an important part of their overall success. You should find it displayed proudly, not hidden or glossed over.
Accreditation vs. Re-Accreditation
When a two-year nursing program has been accredited by the appropriate governing body, this does not mean that the program has a lifetime guarantee of being able to grant accredited degrees.
While this may not be apparent to prospective students, programs must regularly undergo a review and re-accreditation process to ensure that the program’s educational standards continue to meet the specifications of their accrediting body.
What this means for prospective students is that it’s important to check not only whether the program you are interested in has been accredited, but also when it was accredited. If something looks fishy, make sure to ask an admissions counselor when the program last received accreditation.