Many people are unsure about what an accreditation means to a program or a school. Accreditation is a process by which educational programs are evaluated by an outside body that determines if professional standards are being met. In a nursing school or program, one of the national organizations that have an accreditation entity is the NLN or the National League for Nursing.
NLN, a membership organization for nursing faculty and leaders in education, has created the NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission) that is responsible for the accreditation of nursing education schools and programs. The NLNAC, as detailed in the organization’s website, is responsible for the specialized accreditation of a wide variety of nursing programs, including clinical doctorate, master’s, bachelor’s, associate, diploma, and practical programs. The NLNAC accreditation serves to provide assurance that schools and nursing programs meet or exceed certain standards and criteria.
Other benefits of the accreditation are: enables a program to improve through self-evaluation, helps a program recruit students, assures employers that graduates have competent skills, helps guide students in their job and education choices, enables transfer of education credits, and helps students be eligible for financial assistance from government sources.
How does an accreditation affect you? Students who choose to attend non-accredited programs may not be eligible for financial aid and credit may not be transferred as well when they decide to change programs or further education. Job possibilities may also be limited for students who graduated in a non-accredited program especially in working for the government.
Therefore, an NLN accreditation does matter. You want to be confident that everything you are taught meets professional standards and you want to know that the program will prepare you to enter the healthcare industry with the most current skills and knowledge in that field. Attending an NLNAC accredited program is an investment for your future.