The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has reaccredited University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Nursing and Health Sciences' baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master of science in nursing (MSN), and doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) for a 10-year period through 2031.
The accreditation came after a self-study followed by rigorous review by a peer-review team of CCNE examiners this past spring. In October, the CCNE Board of Commissioners reviewed the findings and determined that the programs met all four accreditation standards. The Board additionally determined that there are no compliance concerns with respect to the key elements. The 10-year accreditation approval is the maximum that can be awarded a nursing program.
Typically, the peer-review team of CCNE examiners visits the campus to meet with university administrators, college faculty, students, preceptors and community representatives. They also visit clinical sites; attend classes; and review curriculum, policy and governance documents, and other materials. They also evaluate the effectiveness of each program based on student and faculty outcomes. However, due to COVID-19, the examiners conducted the site visit virtually.
Associate Professor and Director of Assessment and Evaluation, Dr. Jeanette Olsen who led the accreditation efforts explained, "The work of preparing for and executing an accreditation evaluation is always challenging, but this was heightened by the ongoing pandemic and resulting shift from a traditional onsite to a virtual evaluation visit. The commitment and work of the College of Nursing faculty and staff were crucial in attaining the full ten-year accreditation for all three programs. This started with College leadership who planned ample time and resources for preparation, and it extended to faculty and staff who were involved in completing our Self-Study, compiling resources, preparing students, arranging and supporting virtual meetings, meeting with the accreditation evaluation team, and providing opportunities for them to observe instruction. Our university colleagues, students, alumni, and community/clinical partners also played an important role through the information they shared during meetings with the evaluators. The team specifically commented that the turnout for the community/clinical partner meeting was the largest they had experienced. This is a testament to the support our programs receive from all stakeholders; they, too, share in celebrating this accomplishment."
Dean and Professor, Linda Young, Ph.D., RN, CNE, CFLE, FAAN, commended faculty and staff for their efforts and contributions to the school’s accreditation process. “Having met all criteria without any citations for all nursing programs the accomplishment by the College of Nursing is monumental. This was the first all-programs reaccreditation since the inception of the DNP program within the College. Now with the DNP program on the same accreditation cycle as all our other programs, we have no accreditation reports to write or site visits to host until 2031. This massive accomplishment occurred while the College was also navigating the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic with its impact on classroom, simulation, lab and clinical, helping with vaccinations and community education, helping staff hospital and long-term care units, and attending multiple meetings to finalize the self-study report and prepare for the site visit. As the signs on our buildings in Eau Claire and Marshfield read 'Heroes work and learn here'. All members of the College of Nursing and Health Science are applauded for their heroic efforts these past two years, including going above and beyond to ensure a successful CCNE accreditation of the nursing programs."
Department Chair and Professor, Charlotte Sortedahl, DNP, MPH, MS, RN, also shared her congratulations, stating "This accomplishment illuminates the excellence of the faculty, instructional academic staff, and staff that are committed as a team to providing high-quality educational experiences for all nursing students in the undergraduate and graduate programs."
Recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, CCNE is an autonomous national accrediting agency that ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.