|Owens loses nursing accreditation|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Friday, 09 October 2009 11:55|
Owens Community College has lost an accreditation for its nursing program, but college officials say it won't affect students' chance at graduation and employment.
The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission announced this summer that the college lost its accreditation with the Atlanta-based agency because it did not submit the necessary documentation.
Owens Vice Provost Renay Scott stated this morning that the nursing program will continue as it has in the past as college officials work to reapply for the accreditation.
"We failed to communicate clearly with (the commission) that we already do meet these standards," she said, explaining the reason for the loss of accreditation. "We are aggressively pursuing completing the application for candidacy."
The college was required to submit a report outlining changes made to continue meeting commission requirements. Scott would not disclose who on campus was responsible for filing the report.
"Students are very, very nervous and worried," she admitted. But she assured the nursing program would continue.
The NLNAC accreditation is a stamp that Owens has met national standards, Scott continued, but it is the Ohio Board of Nursing approval that is most critical to the college.
Without approval from OBN, "our students couldn't sit for the licensing exam and couldn't be employed."
More than 200 students are enrolled in nursing programs at Owens, and the college continues to have a waiting list due to lack of clinical space - a problem faced by colleges nationwide, not just at Owens, Scott explained.
The college offers a registered nursing program, licensed practical nurse/associate degree nursing progression program, and practical nursing certificate program. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed to practice.
According to Brad Meyer, public relations director for the college, Owens does not need this NLNAC accreditation to continue its program. "A lot of schools don't have it."
The commission is a specialized accrediting agency for both post-secondary and higher degree programs in nursing education.
Owens has been accredited with NLNAC since 1974. According to the agency's Web site, the last evaluation visit from the commission was in 2006, and the college was denied continued accreditation during a review conducted in July.
The drop in accreditation is not something the college can challenge, Scott stated, and it is difficult to estimate how long reaccreditation might take due to scheduling of campus visits by reviewers.
"The (commission) has been very cooperative with us and very helpful," she said. "We do feel that we do meet the standards."
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