Nursing Program Accreditation FAQ's
Will I be able to apply to an RN-BSN program upon graduation from the DACC nursing program and licensure?
Yes, there are both public and private RN-BSN programs that will accept applications from students who have graduated from state approved schools. Many of these programs are online programs and there are several within the state of New Mexico and West Texas.
Will I be able to apply to NMSU's RN-BSN program?
The NMSU Las Cruces campus catalog indicates that the RN-BSN program has an admission requirement of graduation from an nationally accredited program. We have been working with the Associate Dean and Director of the nursing program in an attempt to establish an articulation agreement for our students. While we recognize that most of our students do not pursue an RN-BSN, we will continue our efforts to ensure those who are interested have as many options as possible.
If I successfully graduate and obtain licensure, what is the impact on my employment options?
Employers have many different requirements for applicants, so there is no simple answer to this question. For example, magnet hospitals require a BSN in hand just to apply . Obviously, students who wish to apply at magnet hospitals would need to obtain a BSN prior to application. Most employers in New Mexico only require a valid nursing license. This includes some hospitals, many clinics, nursing homes, and physician's offices. They are more concerned with the quality and knowledge of the applicant. In these cases, the accreditation is not a factor. There is only one employer in Las Cruces who has verbally indicated accreditation is an issue. At least one local hospital has indicated it is not an issue. As a result there are many opportunities still available for those who successfully complete the program and obtain licensure.
Is the NLNAC accreditation required in order to test for licensure?
No, this has nothing to do with licensure. Licensure is controlled by the state board of nursing, which has given full approval to the DACC nursing program.
Does loss of the NLNAC accreditation mean the DACC nursing program is not providing a quality nursing education?
No, as demonstrated by NCLEX pass rates over the past several years, our students are being appropriately prepared to prove competency on the national licensure exam. In addition, our employer satisfaction rates and employment rates have been high. Indicating that there are no concerns about the quality of our graduates. Most community colleges in the United States do not have the optional national accreditation. Due in large part to the high cost associated with maintenance of accreditation and the restrictive rules related to faculty preparation (ie: faculty MSN degree requirements). In many cases, these rules exceed the requirements set by state nursing boards. Nationally, only 2% of all nurses have advanced degrees providing a small pool from which nursing programs can recruit. Despite this, DACC will continue to follow the standards outlined by NLNAC accreditation and will pursue accreditation. The process for obtaining accreditation, however, is lengthy and we cannot forecast at this time when that might occur.
What are my options at this time?
First and foremost, students may stay in the program in order to graduate and test for licensure. As stated above, we will continue to follow the standards set by NLNAC and the state board of nursing. Students have always had the option of withdrawing from the program at any point in time and that remains true at this time. Finally, students may look at options for transfer to other institutions to complete their education. However, this may not be a timely option as most have already filled their slots for the upcoming year. Students considering this option should contact advisors at these institutions individually, as there are also many other factors taken into consideration in admission decisions.
What is the difference between school accreditation and program accreditation?
Program accreditation is an optional process that some programs choose to pursue in order to demonstrate they have met a nationally recognized standard versus a state standard. Institutional accreditation is generally required for an institution to offer recognized degrees, and financial aid. It is the institutional/school accreditation that is required by most employers. However, there are some employers at the local and federal level who require applicants to be graduates of a program with separate accreditation. Students looking at employment options should carefully review the requirements to determine if the employer is looking for graduation from an accredited school/institution (DACC is accredited by the higher learning commission) or a national accredited program (versus state approved).