Bachelor of Science in Nursing program granted continuing accreditation by ACEN
Lipscomb's School of Nursing is preparing the next generation of health care providers to provide competent and compassionate care.
Kim Chaudoin |
Lipscomb University recently received official notification from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) that its Board of Commissioners granted continuing accreditation to its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
The BSN program, housed in Lipscomb’s School of Nursing, received the continuing accreditation and were found in compliance with all standards. The next scheduled evaluation visit will be in Fall 2029. ACEN is the leading authority in nursing accreditation and provides specialized accreditation for all levels of nursing education and transition-to-practice programs located in the United States, U.S. Territories and internationally.
“This is an amazing accomplishment for our program even though it has been accredited for many years. ACEN deemed us worthy of continuing what we do, and I am pleased that we were awarded the longest time possible between reaccreditation cycles which is eight years,” said Chelsia Harris, executive director of Lipscomb’s School of Nursing. “Going through the reaccreditation process is rigorous and provides us with a great global view of our program. This reflects numerous hours and hard work by the entire School of Nursing faculty and staff. This affirms what we believe about our program and is an indication for the rest of the world that we are a strong, quality program.”
The reaccreditation evaluation process was a four-phase cycle. The first phase is a robust self-study of the program compared to ACEN standards and substandards. Harris and her review team spent months examining the program, writing responses and providing supporting evidence to show how the program is meeting each standard. A site visit from an ACEN delegation is the second phase, which occurred Sept. 14-16. The next phase includes a review by an evaluation peer review committee. In the final phase of the process, the ACEN Board of Commissioners review and vote.
In the official letter of notification sent to Lipscomb regarding the BSN program’s continuing accreditation status, Marsal P. Stoll, ACEN chief executive officer, wrote, “We look forward to continued successes for your nursing program. The ACEN commends the flexibility, courage and resiliency demonstrated by nursing program faculty and leaders, and their institutional colleagues during the global pandemic. The ACEN would like to offer a note of thanks for maintaining high standards while providing outstanding support to the students and your communities.”
Harris said the positive evaluation “speaks highly of our faculty and staff and reflects the collaborative way in which we work well together to uphold these high standards.” She continued, “It is also a reflection of what our faculty pours into our students — high quality instruction, a rigorous program and a mentoring relationship. We walk alongside our students so they can rise to meet the high standard that is set for them.”
For current BSN students and graduates of the program, being accredited by ACEN is significant. “It indicates that these students have met a high standard of knowledge. It is also a measure of the program’s quality and successful outcomes for its graduates,” said Harris. “Having a BSN from an accredited program opens the door to go to graduate school just about anywhere in the nation.”
Part of the evaluation process includes gathering feedback from students. Harris said among the most rewarding outcomes of the process was that the ACEN site visit team said Lipscomb’s nursing students feel valued and are proud of the program.
“The students are my why. They are the why for our faculty and staff,” explained Harris. “And to know that even when our program is rigorous and demanding of our students, they feel loved, valued and cared for … that we are carrying forth the mission of this institution … is affirming.”
Since fall 2019, the School of Nursing has grown in the number of junior and senior BSN majors by 32%, Harris said. Students may apply for admission into Lipscomb’s School of Nursing their freshman year. In 2021, nursing graduates had a 92% NCLEX pass rate, surpassing the 82.49% national average. In addition, Lipscomb’s School of Nursing traditionally has a 100% job placement rate for its graduates within one year of completing the program.
“Our goal is to ensure that the next generation of nurses are equipped to serve others with compassionate and competent care,” said Harris. “I am so excited about what is happening in the School of Nursing and what our students and alumni are doing.”
In April, Lipscomb University School of Nursing was named one of the 30 most diverse nursing schools in America by RNtoMSN.org. Using student completion data from nursing schools nationwide to uncover those with diverse student populations, the organization compared the schools’ population metrics to the averages from their states. Nursing schools that outperformed others in their state by the widest margins earned a most diverse nursing school award. These metrics parallel the organization’s definition of a diverse nursing workforce as one that reflects its own multicultural society.