The School of Nursing at Widener University was awarded the fullest measure of success by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a national accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, which contributes to the improvement of the public’s health.
CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.
The baccalaureate and master’s degree programs at Widener, which were previously accredited by CCNE and, therefore, were eligible for a 10-year accreditation period. The doctorate of nursing practice program has never been accredited previously, so it was eligible for a five-year initial accreditation.
All of the programs achieved the maximum period of accreditation with no recommendations.
Dr. Deborah Garrison, dean of the School of Nursing was thrilled to receive the news.
“It was wonderful to see our faculty, as well as the entire Widener community, come together in support of the school,” she said.
Widener’s president concurred.
“In this day and age with the Department of Education holding accrediting bodies to such scrutiny, to receive the full measure of accreditation with no recommendations is significant and indicates excellence,” said Widener University President James T. Harris III.
The School of Nursing has seen a lot of changes under Garrison’s leadership. She credits the program’s shared governance system and leadership structure with the school’s accomplishment.
A new leadership matrix was implemented in fall 2011 to enhance communication and transparency, including directors for each academic program, and systems directors for simulation, assessment and accreditation, technology integration, clinical affairs/placements, and assistant deans for the Harrisburg campus and undergraduate student services.
“The framework we have in place assures congruence with professional nursing education standards,” Garrison said. “We work on a continuous basis to advance the school’s mission, goals, and achieve our expected outcomes. The processes we have in place support the education of our students and continuous efforts assures congruence with professional guidelines and accreditation standards.”