The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has granted accreditation to Utica College’s baccalaureate nursing programs.
The CCNE Board of Commissioners said the UC programs met or exceeded all four accreditation standards. The first three address program quality: mission and governance, institutional commitment and resources, and curriculum and teaching-learning practices. The fourth standard is program effectiveness: aggregate student and faculty outcomes. These four standards have key elements to them, and the board also said that there are no concerns with these key elements in UC’s program.
UC’s campus-based nursing program offers a four-year degree during which students will have a focus in clinical study and have the opportunity to take classes they would not if going for a two-year degree such as health assessment, community care, nursing management, and critical care nursing. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.
UC also offers an online Registered Nurse to bachelor’s of science (RN-BS) program so that nurses with an associate’s degree can improve their knowledge and quality of work. In this program, students learn skills in leadership, patient care, communication, critical thinking and decision-making.
Class sizes are small and intimate in their virtual environment to encourage both personal and professional growth.
Several states are considering legislation that would require nurses who hold only associate’s degrees to enroll and complete a bachelor’s degree within 10 years of being licensed, and New York is one of these states.
Catherine Brownell, chair and associate professor of nursing, said CCNE accreditation is the gold standard in baccalaureate and higher education in nursing, and an important step in building the nursing program to its full potential.
“We are able to integrate new research into our nursing curriculum, so that our graduates can stay on the cutting edge of changes in medicine and health care delivery,” Brownell said. “This clearly gives them an advantage when they begin working the field.”
In 2007, Utica College completed building F. Eugene Romano Hall, a state-of-the-art facility that houses classrooms, laboratories, and clinical space. This building is used by students majoring in physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing and health studies. A highlight of the facility is the Dr. Albert and Gloria Shaheen Nursing Lab, which includes a fully equipped reproduction of a modern hospital ward, including a sophisticated nursing station, isolation room, state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and operational respiratory technology.
Brownell said that the building is a tremendous resource in helping the students learn, and that for the nursing students, it becomes like a second home.
“We have the space and resources for a larger student enrollment and for great opportunities and clinical simulation,” she said. “It gives the students a chance to practice in a very real setting.”
The accreditation by the CCNE is for a five-year term that will last until Dec. 31, 2015.