School of Nursing Strengthened by 10-year Accreditation

by Kaitlyn Coughlin, Public Relations Writer

The newly formed School of Nursing at Cedarville University recently gained additional credibility when the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) granted the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N) program a full 10-year continuing accreditation. The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) will be reviewed when the CCNE team visits campus October 10-12. 

“The accreditation approval is a significant accomplishment because it validates the quality of education our students receive,” said Janet Conway, Ph.D., inaugural dean of the school of nursing.

Likewise, when Cedarville’s board of trustees granted approval for the nursing department on July 1, 2012 to become the school of nursing it elevated the program’s stature while also highlighting the growth of health sciences at Cedarville.

Since the nursing program inception at Cedarville in 1982, the University has sought ways to expand. When the M.S.N. degree was approved in 2010 by the Ohio Board of Regents and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities, it set the stage for program to become a school of nursing.

Over the past 30 years, the nursing program has successfully grown from a class of 30 to over 360 B.S.N. students and 19 M.S.N. students. Cedarville’s nursing graduates have a record of success in the health care professions, and according to director of career services Jeff Reep, a 2011 survey revealed that nearly 95 percent of graduates were either employed or in graduate school. Another survey indicated that nursing graduates are employed in approximately 200 hospitals world-wide.

The school of nursing will now have a new facility, sharing it with the school of pharmacy, for its students. The $14 million structure will host students beginning in August. The first class will be on August 22, 2012, and a dedication ceremony is planned for October 5.

“The school of nursing is collaborating on various programs and research projects with the school of pharmacy,” said Conway. “It is our goal to share these student experiences across the disciplines and offer more health care services to the community.”

As the school of nursing moves into its new building, Conway recognizes that its facilities are of the highest quality. The new Health Sciences Center includes state-of-the-art teaching facilities with high technology simulation labs, mannequins and a clinic setting for seeing actual patients. The school of nursing is the first program in Ohio to purchase the newest birthing mom simulator released by Laerdal Corporation this summer.

Conway has worked at Cedarville since 1982 and is the first dean of the School of Nursing. Prior to this position she was the chair of the department of nursing and senior professor of nursing. Conway will oversee the strategic plan for the school of nursing, evaluate the programs and recruit and evaluate faculty.