Nursing students to benefit from accreditation

Home 2008 archive Nursing students to benefit from accreditation

Katie Coseo

Published: Monday, August 25, 2008

There is good news for nursing students; the nursing program located on PJC’s Warrington Campus received accreditation for the next five years.

For new and future nursing students, this acclamation gives them flexibility for finding jobs and furthering their education in the nursing field outside of Florida.

Pat Jones, the interim director of the nursing program, stated that although being accredited is a benefit, it did not deter students in past years from finding jobs and continuing education for bachelor degrees in their field.

“I felt we always had a good program,” Jones said. However, she explained that the program applied before, but “didn’t have a well-articulated, systematic evaluation.”

Since then, the Nursing program applied for accreditation again. It took the team effort of faculty, staff and administration services to prepare. Other departments also chipped in to help the program with its self study.

Self study involved programs such as, making sure the curriculum followed the department’s goals, that the mission was articulated and that the integrity of all documents matched — from the handbook, and marketing, to the website.

“The faculty and staff have worked hard and it’s something the students and faculty deserve,” said Dr. Keith Samuels, the Director of Clinical Support Services.

Jones pointed out that what gave their program an extra boost was the high quality of learning labs and simulations, operated by Samuels that were provided to medical students. These simulations are conducted in a mock-hospital setting with plastic “patients” that are programmed and voiced for certain scenarios.

With the new accreditation, the program can expect more opportunities for grants. These grants can help the program grow.

Although the program had not been accredited in the past, students had “no barrier to get jobs in Florida or near Alabama,” explained Jones. Furthering education was also not an issue for those students who remained in Florida. The program has an agreement with in-state colleges and Universities.

Both Jones and Samuels stated that the accreditation is not required.

“Sometimes the administration didn’t see it as something to invest energy,” Samuels explained.

However, Samuels also said, “[The accreditation] will make a lot of transfers easier. All things equal, it will give students a bit of an edge.”

This is the first time that the program has been recognized by the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission since the program started in 1958.