The nursing program at SPSCC had officially lost its national accreditation due to unmet standards.
The program has operated under conditional national accreditation since 2010. In July, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC now ACEN) evaluated the college’s nursing program and revoked the program’s national accreditation.
The college appealed the ACEN Board of Commissions decision to revoke accreditation.
It will take time for the board to review the appeal, according to Kellie Braseth, dean of college relations. The nursing program will remain accredited until the commission makes a decision on the appeal.
In the meantime, Braseth said the nursing program is currently being redesigned, making this program stronger. Two new co-directors have been brought into the nursing department to focus on changes in the nursing industry. They have worked with SPSCC nursing program staff all summer long.
The graduation date for current second-year nursing program students has been moved sooner in attempt to award degrees before the appeal process is over. This will allow second-year students to graduate from a nationally accredited program.
The nursing program’s web page stated that difficulties meeting standards arose from new technology that is reshaping the practice of nursing and from health care reforms requiring significant changes to nursing education.
Braseth said that, starting in 2005 when the economy was down, the school anticipated a nurse shortage, so the program was “laser focused on producing nurses for the community” instead of paying attention to the changes in nursing standards.
While the nursing program maintained its course, the nursing industry shifted to becoming much more technology based.
Incidentally, the shortage did not happen. Nurses about to retire continued working because of the bad economy, said Braseth.
The college plans to support current students by offering the option of having the college pay for the Licensed Practical Nurse examination and the accompanying application fee. The nursing program’s webpage said the program will provide “comprehensive counseling, education planning, and career services.” These services will be provided for second-year students completing their final year of the program and those preparing for national nursing examinations.
The website stated that some negative implications for those students unable to graduate from a nationally accredited program may include not being hired by federal facilities, being denied state licensure and being denied credit transfer to nursing bachelor programs outside of Washington state.
“Continuing students say the program is much better,” said Braseth.
There was no new cohort of students admitted to SPSCC Nursing Program fall 2013, because of the redesign. Braseth said students that did apply for the nursing program this year were returned their fees and invited to reapply in 2014.
Visit http://www.spscc.ctc.edu/programs/nursing/prg-redesign to find out more about the nursing program, the loss of national accreditation and the program’s redesign.