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Vanderbilt University School of Nursing earns national CCNE accreditation

Jun. 16, 2016, 9:03 AM

Front Entrance Godchaux Hall

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) and post-master’s certificate programs for a five-year period through 2021.

“The CCNE accreditation signifies that Vanderbilt provides quality nursing education and that our graduates are educated in accordance with the highest national nursing standards,” said Linda Norman, DSN, R.N., Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing and dean of VUSN. “It is outside validation that our continual pursuit of excellence in teaching, learning and innovation produces results.”

Applying for the voluntary, self-regulatory accreditation involves months of preparation. As part of the process, VUSN produced a more than 220-page self-study accessing its current strengths, standards, procedures, personnel and direction. The school then hosted a two-and-one-half-day visit by a peer-review team of CCNE examiners. During the site visit, the CCNE examiners met with University and Medical Center leaders, faculty, students and preceptors, visited clinical sites, evaluated on-site and online classes and reviewed application materials.

The examiners evaluated VUSN’s program quality in regard to mission and governance, institutional commitment and resources, and curriculum and teaching-learning practices. They also looked at the effectiveness of the school’s programs in terms of program, student and faculty outcomes.

“A huge component of the accreditation process is self-assessment,” Norman said. “We were able to look at our program as it relates to the health care environment and identify our strengths and areas for improvement.”

Just as important, Norman said, the self-study process spotlighted the school’s accomplishments and opportunities.

“It was good to look at our strengths — our student-focused environment, leadership in teaching technology, recognized and accomplished faculty, well-developed academic and clinical partnerships and innovative research,” she said. “Too often we focus on what we want to accomplish and forget to celebrate what we’ve done.”

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