National Accreditation FAQs

National Nursing Accreditation FAQs

Question: Are the nursing programs at South Central College (SCC) programs approved?
Answer: Yes!  Both the Practical Nursing and Associate in Science Nursing programs at SCC are approved by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system and through the Minnesota Board of Nursing (MBON). The state boards sets and regulates standards as well as provides approval of nursing schools curriculum designed to train nursing students.  The goal of both boards is for nursing students to be eligible to sit for the National Council of Licensure Examination (NCLEX) examination upon completion of their nursing education.  As one of the two year colleges in MnSCU, South Central College has been accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and School since 2010.   

Question: Are SCC’s nursing programs currently nationally nursing accredited?
Answer: No, the nursing programs are not yet accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or by the NLN Commission for Nursing Accreditation (CNEA).

Question: What is the current status of SCC's nursing accreditation process?
SCC received permission from ACEN, formerly National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), to proceed forward with their candidacy application July 22, 2013. This is the first of four steps towards accreditation. The Nursing Division has the majority of their ACEN Systematic Evaluation Plan (SEP) firmly in place and their Nursing Division Reference Library started in preparation for the candidacy presentation, which is step number two.  
The Nursing Faculty researched the adoption of CNEA and their new standards during the 2014-2015 academic year.  The possibility and rationale was shared with the Nursing Advisory Board Committee in the fall of 2014. The Board provided their approval.  The nursing faculty formally voted May 11, 2015 to accept CNEA as the national nursing accrediting body.  The CNEA standards are quite similar to ACEN which will allow the majority of the research and work done on the ACEN SEP to be converted to the CNEA report.  Spring of 2015 is the anticipated date for the CNEA application to be outlined by National League of Nursing, the home agency of CNEA. 

Question: Did SCC Nursing programs lose their national nursing accreditation?
Answer:  No!  South Central College is seeking their initial national nursing accreditation. 

Question:  What effect do NCLEX pass rates have on the national nursing accreditation process?
Answer:  Seventy five percent for first time pass rates of nursing student graduates is presently one of the criteria in Standard 6 of the ACEN accreditation.  This makes it a priority in step two of the accreditation process.  It is also a requirement for the MBON.  South Central College has engaged in a Corrective Action Plan with MBON for the pass rates of 2014 being less than 75%.  In February of 2016, the MBON will summarize the pass rates of 2015.  With the recent improvements in curriculum and the newly approved curricular changes, anticipation of pass rates being greater than 75%, is high.  With the first time pass rates at or above the acceptable level, the accreditation process will move forward quickly with the hope of having an accreditation site visit and following approval in the fall of 2016.   

Question: If SCC nursing programs are not yet nationally nursing accredited, can nursing students still sit for their NCLEX board exams to become either an LPN or RN?
Answer: Absolutely YES! Our nursing graduates are well prepared upon completion of their nursing program at SCC to take their NCLEX board exams. Upon successful passing of boards, our SCC nursing graduates are going on to find jobs either as an LPN or an RN, depending on the type of program from which they graduated.

Question: Without having national nursing accreditation yet, can SCC graduates transfer to a four-year university for their baccalaureate of science or arts (BSN or BAN) completion?
Answer: Yes! A growing number of our RN graduates have successfully transferred to four-year universities to complete their BSN or BAN program. SCC has articulation agreements with several MnSCU colleges to allow for seamless transition from our two year college to a four year program. SCC graduates may also transfer to private universities in pursuit of their BSN degree. Interested students should contact the college they wish to transfer into for specific BSN program requirements.  At the completion of their BSN or BAN, nursing students will have graduated from an accredited nursing program. 

Question: If a student graduates from a nursing program not yet nationally nursing accredited, can those graduates still get jobs as an LPN or RN? 
Answer: Yes!  South Central College has a high placement rate of their nursing graduates in the surrounding and metro area workforces. Many clinical sites have seen our nursing students in action, know our program, and look forward to being able to offer nursing positions for our graduates. There are some employers who prefer nurses who have graduated from a nationally accredited nursing program and some employers who require it. Locally, there are many employers hiring our graduates even though SCC has yet to receive national accreditation.

Question: Are nursing programs required to have national nursing accreditation?
Answer: Yes.  The MBON is requiring all nursing schools to become nationally nursing accredited by 2018.  Originally, 2016 was the decided upon year.  The MBON changed the date based on the fact only one national nursing accreditation organization was available for pre-licensure nursing education at the two year college level.

Questions: What benefit to the student is there to attend a nationally accredited nursing education program?
Answer:  National accreditation assists in eligibility for student aid and employment feasibility.  

Question: What are helpful websites to learn more about national accreditation?
Answer:  Click on either link for more information - Commission of Nursing Educational Accreditation (CNEA) and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).