Fairfield University's School of Nursing receives gold standard in baccalaureate and graduate education with CCNE accreditation


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has awarded Fairfield University's School of Nursing accreditation with the highest distinction.

The School maintained accreditation of its baccalaureate and master's degree programs in nursing. The accreditation, which has been extended to 2017, comes after CCNE examined the School's curriculum, standards and benchmarks. Evaluators visited the campus last March and met with administrators faculty, staff and students. Preparation for the process involved an intense self-study by the School's administrators and faculty, which took over a year to complete. In addition, an ongoing continuous quality improvement evaluation plan is in place.

Recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, CCNE is a prestigious national accreditation agency that assesses the quality of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. It ensures nursing education programs are pursuing academic excellence through improved teaching/learning, and gauges whether programs are adequately preparing students for professional practice and graduate education.

Jeanne M. Novotny, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, said that she is proud of her faculty and staff for helping to achieve this stamp of excellence. "It is a validation of our many efforts to foster the growth of the School and set the bar continually higher for ourselves."

Accreditation has five goals: to hold nursing education programs accountable to their mission statements and goals; to evaluate the success of a program in achieving its stated mission, goals, and outcomes; to assess the extent to which a nursing education program meets accreditation standards; to inform the public of the purposes and values of accreditation and to identify nursing education programs that meet accreditation standards; and to foster improvement in nursing education and professional practice.

Fairfield nursing majors are educated their freshman year in the core curriculum of liberal arts, a hallmark of a Jesuit education. They are grounded in a range of disciplines so that they understand nursing as an economic, social, cultural, and scientific concern. Fairfield is affiliated with more than 50 agencies serving every need and every population: small and large hospitals, schools and community health centers, outpatient departments and rehabilitation centers, in poor and affluent neighborhoods, in urban and suburban communities. Those agencies provide opportunities for students to gain practical, hands-on skills via clinical rotations that complement students' classroom education. It is all part of the School's mission to prepare its graduates to be exceptionally skilled, deeply experienced, broad-minded practitioners.

The School has achieved great success in being awarded grants and entering into partnerships and corporate collaborations. They include the ELDER project, an effort to teach geriatric nursing best practices; the Nursing Academy, a partnership with VA Connecticut Healthcare System (VACHS) addressing the nation's nursing shortage; and the Emergisoft Corporation partnership, a collaboration involving the School of Nursing exploring the potential of Emergisoft software to help educate nursing students nationwide.

For more details on the graduate programs of the School of Nursing, call the Graduate Admission office at (203) 254-4184 or toll-free at (888) 488-6840 or e-mail gradadmis@mail.fairfield.edu or visit www.fairfield.edu/grad. Regarding undergraduate programs, the School can be reached at (203) 254-4100, ext. 4150.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 11, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 134