Accreditation is a self- regulatory process that is voluntary. This is where non governmental organizations will recognize schools and programs which are seen to conform or meet a certain set of standards set for quality education. Attending an Accredited nursing school is very important. Two national organizations are responsible for accrediting nursing education programs they include:
- The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) which accredits all nursing education programs like master’s, baccalaureate, associate’s and diploma
- The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) that accredits programs that offer only master’s and baccalaureate level nursing degrees.
- The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) which accredits nurse anesthesia programs at certificate, masters and doctoral degree levels.
- The American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation (ACNM) which accredits midwifery education programs.
Even though there are nursing schools that are not accredited by NLNAC or CCNE. They still offer quality nursing education. But the main advantage of undertaking your nursing degree from a school that has been accredited by either of this two institutions means that you have qualified to attend another accredited school of nursing in future when you want to advance your degree. This is the case when advancing from a RN-to-BSN or even a Master’s degree. Some scholarships also are only offered to schools offering accredited nursing programs.
The Advantages of Attending Accredited Nursing Schools
Nursing students who attend accredited nursing schools are able to participate in programs funded by the federal government and also state entitled programs. Once you graduate from an accredited nursing school you will be able to attend other nursing schools that have been accredited so as to advance their studies.
One other advantage is that students from accredited nursing schools are preferred by most employers. The main reason behind this is that they have been properly trained under the standards set nationally for nursing education.
Levels of Nursing School Accreditation for Different Nursing Programs
All accredited schools are found in the site AllNursingSchools.com and have a marked logo to clearly distinguish them. Almost all nursing school accreditation organizations employ similar criteria when accrediting nursing school programs. What you need to know is that nursing school accreditation is only for a certain period of time and is different between schools and the various programs. Therefore before joining a nursing school you need to check for how long it has been accredited so as to avoid joining a school with no accreditation.
Why you should not attend Nursing School That is Not Accredited
Approval by the state board of nursing does not mean a school has been accredited even though all accredited nursing schools have been approved. Before joining a school that is yet to be accredited you need to consider the future implications. First once you have completed your NCLEX examination you will not be allowed to join any accredited nursing school to pursue your education which mainly implies you may never progress in your professional carrier.
You will also find yourself less facing stiff competition from nurses from accredited schools when looking for work as most employees will prefer them over you.