Nursing program gains accreditation

George Fox University's Nursing studentsGeorge Fox University’s Department of Nursing was granted full accreditation of its baccalaureate degree program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s Board of Commissioners last spring.

The accreditation was granted for a term of five years, extending to June 30, 2012, by the CCNE, an autonomous, national accrediting agency created to ensure the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate degree nursing programs. George Fox is one of four CCNE-accredited schools in Oregon.

For George Fox, the recognition is the culmination of three years of planning and work by the nursing department’s faculty and staff, according to department chair Ron Mitchell. The announcement coincides with the graduation of the first class of 35 nursing majors from the university in April.

“Because one of the criteria for admission into most graduate programs is that a student graduate from an accredited baccalaureate program, this (accreditation) will make the application process easier for nursing students who intend to further their education,” Mitchell said. “The nursing major continues to be a highly sought-after degree, and with the granting of accreditation, it is anticipated that admission into George Fox’s nursing program will become more competitive in the future.”

The university announced the start of its nursing program in 2004. Classes are taught on the university’s Newberg campus and clinical experience is offered at a variety of off-campus settings, including community hospitals, home-care and extended-care facilities, service agencies, and schools.

In addition to nursing courses, students in the program take general education core courses in humanities, religion, and the sciences. Graduates of the program are prepared to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and to serve at a variety of health-care agencies. They also are qualified to enter graduate programs in related fields.

The CCNE accreditation evaluation consists of a review of a program’s mission, goals, and expected outcomes, as well as an assessment of the performance of the program in achieving those goals through the most effective use of available resources, programs, and administration.

Accreditation by CCNE is intended to hold nursing programs accountable to the community of interest – the nursing profession, consumers, employers, higher education, students and their families, and nurse residents.