UT College of Nursing officials are very encouraged following a site visit Friday from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the national accrediting body for baccalaureate and master’s level nursing education.
“The exit report from the team leader and members of the CCNE accreditation team was very positive and highlighted that the UT College of Nursing has provided evidence that all four standards are in compliance with the standards set by the CCNE,” said Dr. Timothy Gaspar, dean of the College of Nursing.
Gaspar emphasized that it will be several weeks before the college receives the formal CCNE report, which will identify the college’s strengths, any needed changes, and the potential length of the new accredited period. Programs can be accredited for as long as 10 years, depending on the results of the accreditation process.
“I’m very proud of the teamwork and leadership of the College of Nursing,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, provost, executive vice president for health affairs and College of Medicine dean. “Their dedication to excellence and university-quality patient care bodes very well as we await the final report from the CCNE.”
CCNE members were at UT March 24-27 and conducted a thorough review of the college, Gaspar said.
“They took an exhaustive look through the materials we provided them, they interviewed undergraduate and graduate students in all of our nursing programs, and they met with various clinical agencies and community members with whom the college regularly interacts,” Gaspar said.
Gaspar said the CCNE was particularly impressed with the quality and depth of nursing students’ responses during interviews.
“This college has been preparing for this site visit for more than a year, and hopefully we’ll find in a few weeks that all the work was well worth it,” he said, adding special thanks to Dr. Jeri Milstead, who led the preparation process prior to her retirement as dean of the college and Gaspar’s appointment last summer.
“CCNE accreditation is critical both to nursing students who are looking to continue their education at either the doctoral or master’s level as well as to the public,” Gaspar said. “This process provides assurances of the excellence and high quality of care nursing students from UT will provide.
“Whether you’re a patient at UT Medical Center or across the country, nurses from CCNE-accredited programs can be directly tied to more accurate assessment — particularly in high-risk patients where the clinical symptoms may be more subtle — fewer errors, higher quality overall patient care, and an ability to proactively anticipate problems and address them,” he said.