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June 29, 2015
The East Carolina University College of Nursing has received 10 years of accreditation, the maximum granted by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The accreditation follows an extensive self-study and fall 2014 site visit, and applies to ECU's baccalaureate, master's and post-master's certificate, and doctor of nursing practice programs.
The DNP program, established in 2013, received the maximum five years allowed for programs undergoing initial accreditation. All of the ECU programs assessed met CCNE's four accreditation standards and with no recommendations for changes.
"We are pleased to receive such a strong endorsement of the outstanding ongoing work of our faculty, staff and students," said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. "The accreditation process itself was a team effort by every member of the college, both faculty and staff. We owe a special thanks to our taskforce for their extensive work in coordinating and collecting information for the self-study."
The College of Nursing, which has been accredited since 1964, has more than 8,500 alumni and prepares the most new nurses of any institution in the state. It provides three pathways for nurses to earn their bachelor of science in nursing: the traditional BSN program, an accelerated second-degree option for students who already have a baccalaureate degree in another major, and the RN to BSN option for students who already have their two-year nursing degree and want to earn their BSN.
The college offers seven options in the master's of science nursing program: adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, neonatal clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthesia, neonatal nurse practitioner, nursing education, nursing leadership and nurse midwifery. The midwifery program, which is the only program of its kind in North Carolina, undergoes accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. The nurse anesthesia also undergoes a process with a specialized accrediting body, with the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
The doctor of nursing practice program offers a BSN to DNP option for students with an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner focus. It also provides a post-master's DNP option for advanced practice registered nurses. The college's doctor of philosophy in nursing program prepares nurse scientists, with entry points for students who have their BSN, MSN or DNP.
A report provided by CCNE following the site-visit noted that testimonials from both students and community partners demonstrated the excellent quality of the college's faculty. The accreditors praised college staff, including the business and administrative affairs office, technology support, concept integration labs, student development and counseling, student services and marketing offices.
"The feedback we received from the accreditation team was stellar and the dedication of our faculty and staff was clearly evident," Brown explained. "It takes a village to create such a positive learning environment for our students."
The ECU College of Nursing is also designated as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, an honor bestowed on just 35 schools nationwide for outstanding achievements in student learning and professional development.