Accreditation “is a process of acknowledging schools for performance, reliability and top quality that entitles them to the confidence of the academic group and the public. In the United States, this recognition is extended largely through nongovernmental, voluntary membership associations that establish accreditation requirements, evaluate organizations against those requirements and approve organizations that fulfill the requirements.”
- What is the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)? – The NLNAC “is nationally recognized as a specialized accrediting agency for both post-secondary and college degree applications in nursing knowledge.” The NLNAC accredits all types of post-secondary medical applications, including those offered by group and technical colleges.
- How does program accreditation differ from program approval? – Program accreditation indicates a program satisfies specific national requirements identified by an accrediting body, such as NLNAC. Program acceptance indicates a program satisfies requirements described by state policies. In the case of nursing, a program also must fulfill policies described by the state Nurse Practice Act. State program acceptance allows nursing graduates to sit for the national certification examination (NCLEX) to be licensed as RNs.
- Is NLN certification mandatory? – NLN certification is optionally available, but a suitable certification for nursing programs to have. NLN certification of a nursing program indicates the program satisfies six NLNAC specifications related to mission and administration, faculty and staff, students, curriculum, resources and outcomes. Each standard has between five and 10 specifications, each of which must be met to obtain certification.
- Why is NLNAC certification important? – Although the process is non-reflex, certification indicates a nursing program satisfies the NLNAC’s established specifications for training and college student development. Government features, such as veterans’ medical centers, require that job candidates graduate from a nationally approved nursing program and some institutions have the same need for transfer learners.
- Is graduating from a nationally approved associate degree in nursing required to engage in a baccalaureate or master degree in nursing? – Not all educational institutions have this need, but you should always check the entrance specifications of your preferred transfer school carefully.