This is a guest post for Skills You Need.
Want to contribute? Find out how.
Why Does Nursing School Accreditation Matter?
Many factors come into play when joining a nursing program, but the most important is accreditation.
Since nursing is a career that involves rigorous training and experience, it would be tragic to discover that your school is not accredited. If you have chosen nursing as your career path, understanding how nursing program accreditation works should be on your to-do list.
What does nursing accreditation involve?
The first thing people check before buying a product is quality control. Knowing whether a product is safe to use will influence your purchasing decision. Being accredited as a nurse is no different. Completing a course accredited by a nursing governing body means that the course has undergone a quality control process which assures your competence as a nurse. Whist in this article we refer to the accreditation of nursing programs in the US, the same principles in most other countries although the organisations involved in accrediting courses and institutions will be different.
Whether you are pursuing a course as an international student or as a US-based student, an accreditation team will consider the following factors.
Whether academic programs at universities and tertiary colleges provide quality-assured education.
Whether a nursing institution adopts changes to raise their standards.
Partnerships with tutors, heads of departments, and staff to plan, evaluate, and plan courses for nursing programs.
The protocols that verify whether individuals are eligible to perform basic tasks by offering licenses according to their state law and certification.
The accreditation program verifies that you can use your cognitive and interpersonal skills to perform basic nursing tasks relevant to your experience level.
Joining an unaccredited nursing school can lead to problems
Before joining a nursing school, scrutinize the institution to confirm if it is registered with the state board committee. If it matches the state board committee’s criteria, this means you can sit your exam to prove you qualify to be a registered nurse. Getting a certificate and license means you are ready to partake in relevant nursing duties.
If you discover that relevant governing bodies do not accredit your nursing school, it would be best to defer your course. The accreditation team advises students to do due diligence and research to confirm whether their school is authorized to conduct nursing courses.
If you graduate from a school that is not accredited by a relevant body, you will find it much harder to land a job and may even get into trouble with the state Nursing Board or not be able to graduate. You may even not be able or allowed to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and hence find it impossible to enter the nursing profession.
How to know if a nursing school is unaccredited
Beware of the nursing school you want to join if it:
Asks for abnormal tuition fees
An institution offering either too cheap or too expensive tuition fees is a red flag. Accredited nursing schools are regulated, which is why you should beware of institutions purporting to be offering training programs at abnormal rates.
Sets unrealistic time plans
No matter where you are based, a nursing program that offers completion in less than six months should be considered fraudulent. They are probably absorbing unrealistic intake, leading to unrealistic time plans. Do not be gullible as to apply for such programs.
The benefits of joining an accredited nursing school
Each year, nursing school accreditation ensures that graduates receive all the tools and training necessary to set themselves up for their careers. Accreditation means that once you graduate, your employer can expect you to use your cognitive and interpersonal skills to transform patients’ lives. If you have recently joined Lecturio RN online courses or any other nursing program, accreditation can change your career in the following ways.
1. Increases your chances of securing federal sponsorship
The US federal government has allocated funds to help needy students who want to pursue nursing as a career. If you choose to pursue nursing at an unaccredited school, your chance of accessing federal financial help are slim.
2. Gaining employment after graduation is easy
Nursing school accreditation assures your prospective employer that you are fit for the job. It is the first thing employers check once they get your CV. Since nursing does not allow for mistakes, it would be best to enrol and complete your nursing course in an accredited institution.
3. Acceptance by other accredited schools
If, for whatever reason, you find you need to change schools, start by joining an accredited one. If you decide to transfer from one accredited school to another, the system automatically carries your credit history over to the next school.
4. Peace of mind
Enrolling in an unaccredited nursing school is one of the most significant mistakes you can make as a budding nurse. Apart from wasting money paying for tuition fees, you will realize that it was also a waste of time. While unaccredited institutions offer the same education, they might not have your best interest at heart. Since you can't turn back the hands of time, the last thing you want is to spend the rest of your career life trying to make amends that might not bear any fruits. Join an accredited school and have peace of mind knowing you will fulfil your purpose in life.
Choosing the right nursing program can be a daunting task because it involves many factors. However, after understanding the importance of accreditation, you can see how accreditation can determine your future. Please do your due diligence on matters related to accreditation standards before joining any nursing school. This way, you will know that you are eligible to take the NCLEX exam and increase your chances of getting hired.
Start from scratch by joining an accredited nursing school today
If you are passionate about nursing and do not want to waste your time, join an accredited school from the start. Doing so will increase your chance of getting financial aid from the undergraduate through to postgraduate level. Since your credits matter to you, ensure that you follow the proper channels. You can find out which nursing schools near you are accredited by searching on the internet. By doing so, you will increase your chances of gaining acceptance into the job market compared to your counterparts who join unaccredited schools.
About the Author
Linda holds a double degree in creative writing, journalism and mass communication. She is a seasoned writer in the areas of SEO, social media marketing and email marketing. She is an avid researcher and writes fluently in different niches.