Archive for Friday, April 25, 2008

USM earns accreditation for nursing program

April 25, 2008

— The University of St. Mary Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The nursing program gained initial accreditation for the maximum period of five years.

"This affirms the quality of our programs and is a tribute to all the people who have built, taught, and supported our nursing program," said Rebecca Cahill, nursing program director.

"CCNE sets a high standard for baccalaureate nursing programs, and we're extremely pleased to have earned accreditation," said Sandra Van Hoose, vice president and dean of academic affairs. "As we continue to build our nursing program, the CCNE recognition validates the academic quality and high standards of the USM nursing program that inform our curriculum and programmatic values."

The commission evaluates program quality in four areas: mission and governance; institutional commitment and resources; curriculum and teaching-learning resources; and program effectiveness.

"After a very positive visit by the CCNE site evaluation team last November, we were confident our BSN program would meet the accreditation criteria," said Sister Diane Steele, university president. "We are especially proud because the commission has accredited us for the maximum five years rather than the minimum three years."

A big cheer rang out in the nursing department on the fourth floor of Mead Hall as the announcement was made to a classroom of senior nursing students. Steele delivered the news along with celebratory milkshakes.

"We're ecstatic," said senior Laura Windisch.

One of the benefits of CCNE accreditation for USM graduates is that it provides a seamless transition to advanced nursing education. Current and prospective students will have more scholarship and grant opportunities available to them.

USM launched the on-campus Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in the fall of 2006 in response to the nation's critical nursing shortage. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 800,000 new and replacement nurses will be needed to meet health care demands by 2010. The university also launched an online RN to BSN degree-completion program in the fall of 2006.

The university will graduate its first class in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program on May 10. Most seniors have already secured jobs after graduation.

Visit or call (913) 758-4386 to learn more about the on-campus University of St. Mary Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Go to or call (877) 327-6276 for information about the online RN to BSN degree-completion program.


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