Fairfield University's School of Nursing programs receive esteemed CCNE accreditation


Fairfield University's School of Nursing has received accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for its baccalaureate and master's degree programs.

CCNE is a prestigious national accrediting agency which evaluates undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing education. Recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, CCNE assesses and identifies programs that engage in effective educational practices in the preparation of nurses.

Receiving the CCNE's stamp of excellence indicates a high level of accreditation, said Jeanne M. Novotny, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing. "This is the gold standard in baccalaureate and graduate nursing school accreditations," she said. "More and more baccalaureate and graduate programs are considering moving toward CCNE accreditation - so we're ahead of the curve."

Fairfield's accreditation is the result of a three-day, on-campus review by CCNE. Last April, four evaluators visited campus, examined the standards report prepared prior to their visit, and met with University administrators, nursing faculty, and students. According to Dr. Novotny, preparation for the visit took nearly a year, during which School of Nursing faculty and administrators engaged in an extensive self-study that examined the nursing programs' mission, goals, and curricula. Dr. Novotny credits the dedication and perseverance of the nursing faculty for the success of the CCNE review.

"This accreditation couldn't have happened without them," she said. "The faculty made continuous efforts to meet all of the standards and the benchmarks they themselves set for excellence in nursing education."

The School of Nursing met all four accreditation standards of quality and effectiveness: mission and governance of the nursing programs; institutional commitment and resources from the University; curriculum and teaching-learning practices; and student performance and faculty accomplishments.

"The recent accreditation from CCNE is a tribute to the hard work and great talents of the nursing faculty and administrators," said Dr. Orin Grossman, academic vice president at Fairfield. "They came together to tackle complex issues of curricular development and assessment, among others, and developed a plan that convinced the accrediting agency that they deserved this important 'seal of approval.' I am greatly pleased for the Nursing School and I congratulate the faculty and staff for their excellent work."

Although Fairfield's nursing programs are accredited for five years, and the next review isn't until spring 2007, Dr. Novotny said that she and the nursing faculty are already preparing for that visit - with an expectation to renew their mark of excellence.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 17, 2002

Vol. 35, No. 137