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Nursing school’s graduate program under surveillance

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By Chelsea Reese

chelseareese@rocketmail.com

Institutions of higher education must be accredited and eventually reaccredited, and CSU-Pueblo’s graduate nursing program is currently going through this process.

The first leg of the process was completed Feb. 17, after representatives from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission finished their three day evaluation visit. They recommended continuing the program’s full accreditation of the maximum eight years, according to an e-mail by Donna Wofford, associate dean of nursing.

“Things have been so wild here the last few weeks,” Wofford said.

Photo courtesy of gcc.mass.edu.

The next two legs will take place in the next few months.

In May, the NLNAC’s report and CSU-Pueblo’s report will be presented to a review board which  will make their official recommendation, Wofford said. Afterward, all reports will be reviewed by a board of commissioners. They will make the final decision for reaccreditation and notify CSU-Pueblo in July, she said.

During this process, one of three things could happen. CSU-Pueblo’s graduate nursing program could be fully accredited for eight years, the program could be put on a two year accreditation and have to go through the process again or the program reaccreditation could be denied completely. However, Wofford is not worried about being shut down, she said. 

“The worst case scenario would be that one of them, the board or the commissioners, would say ‘no, we want a two year report,’” Wofford said. “We don’t want to have to do it, but yeah, we can do that, no big deal. I’m 99.9 percent sure it will be fine.”

The NLNAC holds every institution to the same six standards: admission and administration, capacity, faculty and students, resources, curriculum and outcomes.

“In the report, they said that we met them all.” Wofford said. “There were several areas that needed development, which we were totally aware of and then they gave us commendation.”

During the visit, the representatives went through three years worth of documents and data, observed health facilities and classes and interviewed everyone from the president to students in order to make the preliminary decision.

Every graduate and undergraduate program will face this process at some point or another because things change and this reaccreditation process is to make sure the necessary changes were made appropriately, Wofford said.

 “They’re kind of the watchdogs. They make sure we do what we say we’re doing.” Wofford said.

CSU-Pueblo’s undergraduate nursing program will be up for reaccreditation in 2015.

“We would like to have both programs accredited at the same time. That would be the sensible thing to do,” Wofford said. “But right now they are off because the graduate program is relatively new.”