Nursing School Accreditation: NLNAC and CCNE  

DLSThe emergence of nursing programs everywhere is the way to answer the influx of nursing students. Nursing schools are struggling to accommodate the growing number of nursing students that is why many nursing programs seem to be popping up all over. With so many options, one way for students to identify a quality nursing program is through national accreditation. Nursing programs that have national accreditation are assured to have achieved established goals and meet expected standards and outcomes because accrediting bodies will hold them accountable.

While it is not required for a nursing student to be in a nursing program that is accredited by the NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission) or CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education)  to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Exam), there are advantageous points for students to be in an accredited nursing program. Accreditation with either the NLNAC or CCNE can affect the student’s financial aid eligibility. If the program is not accredited, the student may not be eligible for federal or state financial aid, employer tuition reimbursement programs, scholarships, or grants.

NLNAC and CCNE have similar criteria and standards. However, the difference is the accreditation periods between individual schools and programs. The type of programs being accredited is also another difference between the accreditation organizations. CCNE only accredits bachelor and master programs while NLNAC accredits all types of nursing education programs. It includes undergraduate (practical, diploma, associate, and bachelor) as well as graduate (master and clinical doctorate) programs. The list of programs accredited for both NLNAC and CCNE is posted in their respective websites.

Knowing this information, it is important to use caution when selecting a nursing program to be in. Accreditation is one aspect you should consider in a nursing program. Which accrediting organization is the program accredited and why did they choose the particular body?

NLNAC Candidacy

The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or NLNAC is accountable for the specific certification of nursing teaching programs (Clinical Doctoral, Master’s, Baccalaureate, Associate, Diploma, and Practical programs).  The Commission has power and responsibility for undertaking the obligations natural in the application of standards and requirements, certification procedures, and the matters, management, policy-making, and general management of the NLNAC.  The NLNAC is nationwide, identified as a specific accrediting organization for both post-secondary and higher degree programs in nursing education.

Candidacy is the first step toward NLNAC Certification. Nursing education models considering accreditation that get in touch with NLNAC are allocated a participant of the professional group as their tutor after qualifications specifications have been met. The tutor support is offered to accomplish system staff self-review and planning. Candidacy is offered after a group evaluation of a nursing education program’s prospective to accomplish NLNAC accreditation.

NLNACThe areas of group evaluation are the: Faculty; Curriculum; and Sources. Once a system has been offered Candidacy, it must search for complete accreditation within two years. A program Applicant may indicate the following to prospective learners and interested members of the public:

This nursing education system is an applicant for accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Candidacy position does not assure that a program will accomplish complete accreditation, which is offered by the Commission after a complete accreditation evaluation along with a visit by a group of qualified targeted site visitors.

The role of the NLNAC Mentor is to provide the nursing program with a specific contact person who will be available to them to deal with any questions about the process or the presentation of any NLNAC specifications. The Mentor is also available to evaluation drafts of Candidacy components and offer advice/assistance when needed.