School of Nursing receives accreditation visit

Erin Wiltz

Marian Jamison, Washburn University’s School of Nursing associate dean, said the nursing school experienced mass chaos between Sept. 24th and 26th because it was time for the annual accreditation visit by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

According to the CCNE Web site, CCNE is a self-sufficient accreditation agency contributing to the enhancement of the public’s health. The commission ensures the excellence and reliability of baccalaureate and graduate education programs preparing operational nurses.

Washburn’s School of Nursing offers certificate programs in school nursing and in public health nursing. It also offers continuing education programs for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and mental health technicians, as well as Kan-Be-Healthy certification for registered nurses.

The School of Nursing must meet the goals and standards CCNE sets for nursing programs of high collegiate educational levels. The program’s quality standards are the mission and governance of the school, institutional commitment and resources, curriculum and teaching-learning practices, student performance and faculty accomplishments.

“Everyone had a hand in it, including the faculty and students,” said Jamison. “Students were involved by evaluating the teachers and courses by taking a survey.”

The CCNE sent four of its members to evaluate the nursing school because Washburn’s School of Nursing has both graduate and undergraduate programs. At the same time, the Kansas State Board of Nursing brought three of its members and visited the nursing school’s clinical sites. The reason KSBN performed its evaluations at the same time as CCNE was because officials believed they would be more of a disruption if they came at a different time than CCNE, according to the KSBN Web site.

“[KSBN officials] do an extensive overview of the program,” said Jamison. “The process made our new faculty see why we do the things we do.”

The School of Nursing has had ongoing accreditation with The National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission. Every postsecondary or higher degree nursing program must receive accreditation from the NLNAC. The Washburn School of Nursing has a higher education level to receive both accreditation from the NLNAC and the CCNE, which only credits the higher educational nursing programs.

CCNE members met privately and conducted intensive interviews with students and faculty to ensure the School of Nursing gets support from the university.

“I didn’t actually meet with or got interviewed by any of the commission members, but I thought the process went smoothly,” said Laura Girton, a Washburn nursing student.

CCNE will look over the reports in the spring, so Washburn’s School of Nursing won’t know until April if it receives accreditation. The accreditation visit reports will be sent over the next month or two and the School of Nursing will look and review over them. The reports include recommendations from CCNE.

The nursing school anticipates that it will get the full 10 years of accreditation.

“They took an impression from the nursing school’s advisory board,” said Jamison. “It was great and positive experience because we got to see our strengths and weaknesses.”