By Dr. Stacey Malinowski  |  10/26/2022

Female nurse wearing mask


On October 20, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) granted our master’s degree programs in nursing CCNE accreditation through December 31, 2032. These master’s degree programs received their initial accreditation from CCNE in 2017, and we are pleased to have achieved this continuing accreditation status. Our RN to BSN program is also accredited by CCNE until December 31, 2027.

Why CCNE Accreditation Is Important

So what is CCNE accreditation and what does it mean to our nursing programs? CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. 

According to CCNE, it “serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices.” The CCNE’s website also notes that it serves five general purposes:

  1. Hold nursing programs accountable to various communities of interest
  2. Evaluate the success of a nursing program in achieving its mission, goals and outcomes
  3. Assess the extent to which a nursing program meets accreditation standards
  4. Inform the public of the purposes and values of accreditation and to identify nursing programs that meet accreditation standards
  5. Foster continuing improvement in nursing programs and in professional practice

How Is CCNE Accreditation Achieved?

The CCNE accreditation process involves a comprehensive review of all the nursing program’s resources and practices, which is shared with the accreditation team through the submission of a self-study report. The self-study provides comprehensive evidence of how a nursing program meets the standards for accreditation through demonstrating compliance with 35 key elements, such as completion rates, faculty qualifications, employment rates of graduates and curriculum design. 

The self-study submission is then followed by a virtual or in-person site visit by CCNE reviewers. The goal of the site visit is to verify the evidence presented in the self-study and to meet with key stakeholders from the program, including students, alumni, university support staff, leaders, and faculty. 

After the site visit, the CCNE reviewers prepare a report for the nursing program’s administrators to identify areas that need further clarification or to state that there are no compliance concerns. The CCNE Accreditation Review Committee (ARC) reviews the report and self-study document and makes a recommendation for action to the CCNE Board. After reviewing all of the documents and seeing the ARC’s recommendation, the CCNE Board makes the final determination on accreditation status.

What Are the Benefits of CCNE Accreditation to Current and Future Students?

Participation in the CCNE accreditation process is voluntary, but many schools choose to seek this stamp of approval to provide additional benefits for the people they educate. For students, knowing that a nursing program achieved CCNE accreditation assures them that the program has undergone a rigorous quality control process and complies with four accreditation standards:

  • Program quality regarding the mission and governance of the nursing program
  • Program quality as it pertains to institutional commitment and resources
  • Program quality regarding curriculum and teaching/learning practices
  • Program effectiveness as it pertains to assessment and achievement of program outcomes

Current and prospective nursing students can be assured that CCNE-accredited nursing programs at our University have met rigorous standards. The CCNE accreditation also means that the University participates in quality improvement through the accreditation cycle to ensure that a nursing program is relevant, is educationally sound, and fosters an environment for students to achieve the desired educational outcomes.

Various Nursing Programs Available at the University

For interested students, there are various nursing-related programs and concentrations at our University. Our master of science in nursing, for instance, offers concentrations in Nursing Education, Nursing Leadership and Community and Public Health Nursing.

We also offer these concentrations in an accelerated format in the RN to MSN program, as well as graduate certificates in  nursing education or  nursing leadership. If you are ready to continue your education in nursing, visit our  program webpage for more information.

About the Author
Dr. Stacey Malinowski

Dr. Stacey (Kram) Malinowski, DNP, RN, NPD-BC, CCRN-K, PCCN-K, CNE, is the Associate Dean and Chief Nursing Administrator at the University. Dr. Malinowski completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Salisbury University and has over 20 years of nursing experience, primarily in the care of critically ill adults and their families. Prior to joining the University, Dr. Malinowski worked as a Nurse Manager for a novice nurse residency program within a community hospital system on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She also served in the Army Reserve Nurse Corps for three years as a First Lieutenant with the 2290th USAH at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

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