August 22, 2008

VUSN accredited for eight more years

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Linda Norman, D.S.N., R.N.

VUSN accredited for eight more years

After a year of preparation, a comprehensive site visit and various phases of review over the spring and summer months, the verdict is in — Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is accredited for eight more years.

“We are thrilled to receive this news,” said Linda Norman, D.S.N., R.N., dean of Academics for the School. “This distinction validates our program and means we meet high national standards.”

The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) evaluates schools of nursing on a regular basis and schools can be approved for varying durations of time. An eight-year approval is the maximum granted between evaluations.

“This process has been a positive one because it provides us the opportunity to look long and deep inside our program to identify our strengths and areas for improvement,” said Norman.

“We had many faculty and staff help develop the 210-page self-study that reflected all of our offerings.”

After completing the self-study narrative, the next step involved a three-day site evaluation where NLNAC delved into all the details of the M.S.N., pre-specialty and specialty courses — anything that would help them amplify, verify or clarify what they had read in the self-study. The evaluators reviewed syllabi and course evaluations and visited several clinical sites such as Vine Hill Community Clinic, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt University Hospital. Additionally, the evaluators held a public comment session attended by community health leaders.

The evaluation process showcased several of the School's strengths, including its curriculum, exceptional evaluation methodology and inter-collegial resources.

There were no areas of weakness identified and no recommendations.

“This has been a lot of hard work, and at the same time, a wonderful opportunity,” said Norman.