The nursing department at Umpqua Community College has decided against pursuing Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) national accreditation.
“This decision was not made in haste,” UCC’s Director of Nursing April Myler, said in a press release. “(The decision) included input from multiple community partners from UCC’s Advisory Committee (which is largely made up of staff from local clinical sites), colleague feedback from the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE), communication to the OSBN, and UCC student representatives, staff, faculty, and administration.”
According to a press release, the decision was made mainly due to budgetary and time constraints. Not pursuing national accreditations allows the program to focus on maintaining Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) accreditation requirements.
The program is certified through by the OSBN, requiring them to meet rigorous guidelines to maintain their associates degree in nursing. OSBN approval is non-negotiable.
National accreditation is not mandatory. Additionally, the national certification that was previously requisite for students to perform clinicals in Veterans Affairs facilities was removed at the federal level.
The program has produced over 2,000 graduates since its inception 45 years ago. Graduates of the program are able to transition to Oregon Health and Science University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which does hold national accreditation.
Of the 11 associates degree in nursing programs in Oregon, only three have national accreditation.