Program Approval Ends Year-long Stymie on Future of Nursing at Tri-C
By Bronson Peshlakai
Voice News Metro Campus
The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing has given its full approval of the college’s nursing program, ending an inquiry into several deficiencies which the college has rectified earlier in the year.
“I am extremely proud of the incredible teamwork exhibited by the nursing faculty and staff in preparation of the self-study and subsequent site visit which led to this outcome,” Tri-C District President Alex Johnson said in an e-mail.
The news of the commission’s decision to deem the program “fully accredited without condition” is a formality as both site visitors from the commission and college administrators expressed a positive outcome after ACEN visited Tri-C in March.
This green light for the nursing program means approval was made from site visitor recommendations to an ACEN evaluation review panel, who submitted its decision to the ACEN board of commissioners, the final vote clearing Tri-C’s nursing program until 2022.
Among some of the deficiencies that prompted the ACEN action to place the program in a conditional status was that the college failed to meet a threshold of having enough nursing instructors on faculty who possessed a master’s degree or higher.
As the college prepared for the site visit Tri-C officials said they had exceeded the minimum requirements of the number of instructors with master’s degrees, and were very confident of having the “conditional” accreditation changed to a full accreditation with no conditions for eight years, the maximum length of time before another accreditation review.
According to the commission’s website, “accreditation is a voluntary, self-regulatory process by which non-governmental associations recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality.”
Many health care institutions like Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and MetroHealth Medical Center rely on its incoming nursing workforce to have graduated from schools that are fully accredited.
With the accreditation issue set until 2022, nursing administrators now have a chance to look forward to the future of the program.
“We started on this one or two years ago which was sidelined with the issues to be taking care of with ACEN. A curriculum revision is probably the next biggest step for us; that an maintaining the integrity of the program, and making sure that the students get the best nursing education possible,” said Vivian Yates, Tri-C’s dean of nursing.
“We will continue to work with employers to ensure that our program remains among the top in the nation, preparing our graduates for productive careers,” Johnson said.
Tri-C offers a two-year associate of applied science degree in nursing and a one-year practical nursing certification. In 2013 Tri-C conferred more than 500 associate degrees in nursing to rank among the top schools in the nation, a release said.
Another highlight of the program is that approximately 85 percent of Tri-C graduates passed the national licensing exam in 2013, a success rate that exceeds state and national averages.