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Why Accreditation Matters When Choosing an Online RN to BSN Program

When looking at online RN to BSN programs, it is important to choose an accredited nursing school to provide you the best value for your time and investment.

Not surprisingly, there are organizations that provide accreditation for some institutions without meeting rigid standards and review. It can often be difficult to tell what accrediting organizations are legitimate, particularly when it comes to online RN to BSN programs.

Schools and Programs Should Be Accredited

Students looking at nursing programs should first ensure that the school is accredited. Schools can be nationally or regionally accredited. The U.S. Department of Education maintains a list of accrediting agencies recognized by the federal government. These agencies ensure that a university is providing a quality education that meets the proper standards of higher education.

In addition to school accreditation, confirm the nursing program has accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). They are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to be national accreditation agencies.

During the accreditation process, experienced industry veterans survey and review standards, protocols, curriculum and faculty. Nursing schools must apply for accreditation and then within two years submit documentation and undergo a site visit. Institutions are accredited for a maximum of five years, a term designed to verify standards continue to be upheld. Degree programs must be in operation for one academic year before being eligible for a site visit for accreditation.

Accreditation Impacts Financial and Transfer Options

To qualify for financial assistance from the U.S. government, schools and programs must be nationally recognized.

Most accredited nursing programs will not accept transfer credits from schools that do not have accreditation. That is because it is difficult to tell what standards non-accredited schools maintain. Because there is a level playing field of standards with accredited programs, employers looking at degrees from accredited nursing schools know that the curriculum and faculty provided individuals the proper knowledge needed to perform quality patient care.

Learn more about the UNF online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

http://www.newsweek.com/great-nursing-schools-2014/accreditation

http://www.chea.org/pdf/CHEA_USDE_AllAccred.pdf

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation/new-applicant-process/baccalaureate-graduate

http://www.acenursing.org/philosophy-of-accreditation/

http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/


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