Licensure Accreditation In Nursing Education for Master Degree

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Nursing Education for Master Degree and Licensure Accreditation

Licensure Accreditation In Nursing Education for Master Degree

Achieve Licensure and Accreditation from Appropriate Organizations Licensure for  Master Level Education,Institutional Accreditation for Nursing Degree Licensure,Develop, Evaluate, and Improve Library Resources.

Achieve Licensure and Accreditation from Appropriate Organizations Licensure for  Master Level Education

    In 2000, the FSMFN applied to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to include the master of science in nursing degree in the areas of nursing midwifery and family nurse practitioner with our license. Approval was received on October 17, 2000. 

Institutional Accreditation for Nursing Degree Licensure

    In 2000, FSMFN actively began the process to achieve institutional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). School administrators first attended a SACS orientation session in January 1999 and attended a second session in January 2000. 

    The orientation made it apparent that there was a lot of work to do in terms of the way the school was organized, the implementation of the new graduate curriculum, and the development of an effective institutional effectiveness process. 

    In order to meet the criteria laid out by SACS, the school organization had to be restructured. The SACS criteria require that the school have a chief executive officer whose primary responsibility is to the institution and who is not the presiding officer of the board. The FSMFN is one of five not-for-profit subsidiary corporations of the Frontier Nursing Service. 

    The five corporations include a critical access hospital, four rural health clinics, the school, the historic real estate, and the FNS Foundation. In 2000, the dean, who reported to the president of the school, led FSMFN. The president of the school was also the president of all five FNS corporations. The school did meet the requirement of having a separate board of directors. 

    In 2001, Susan Stone, DNSc, CNM, was appointed president and dean of the school. The president and dean report directly to the FSMFN board of directors. Two department chairpersons were also appointed: Julie Marfell, ND, FNP, as the chair of Family Nursing, and Suzan Ulrich, DPh, CNM, as chair of Midwifery and Women's Health. 

    The reorganization allowed the school to operate efficiently with a relatively flat hierarchy, which allows decisions to be made and plans to move forward with very little administrative delay.In June 2001, the school submitted the first application for candidacy to SACS. Feedback led to the separation of the school from the FNS, Inc. administrative structure. 

    In case 2001, a second application was submitted with feedback requiring expansion of the physical library facilities. In February 2002, a third application was submitted. At the SACS annual meeting in December 2002, the school was notified that it had been approved for a candidacy site visit. 

    The school hosted six site visitors from SACS at the school in March, 2003. In June 2003, the FSMFN received approval as a candidate for accreditation with the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 

    Members of the school administrative team met with the SACS liaison in July 2003 in Atlanta, Georgia, to continue the process to full accreditation. A leadership team was appointed and began the process of writing the SACS compliance document, which was submitted in May 2004. 

    In July 2004, the accreditation site visit was completed with a team of six site visitors inspecting all aspects of the school for compliance. The final report was very positive and offered no recommendations to the school.

  The decision regarding full accreditation was made at the annual SACS/COC Commission Meeting in December 2004. Program Accreditation Knowing that the school would need the approval of the American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation (ACNM/DOA) to offer the MSN program to the CNEP students, a change of status was requested in February 2002. A change of status from a certificate program to a master of science in nursing program was approved in February of 2002.

    Accreditation through the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) was also pursued. This was necessary to operate the CFNP track and to provide overall validity to the MSN program. 

    Because a scheduled review from the ACNM/DOA was planned in fall 2004, a coordinated site visit with both NLNAC and ACNM/ DOA participating site visitors was completed in October 2004. The program received full accreditation status by both ACNM/DOA and NLNAC in February of 2005. 

Develop, Evaluate, and Improve Library Resources

    Improvement of the quality of library services in order to meet the needs of the graduate-level program was a necessary goal. In the earlier days of the program, students were sent course packs with all of their required articles included. They could order articles through the FSMFN library but access was very limited. 

    Most used their local libraries either in the college of nursing where they had done their undergraduate education or through their employers, many of which were hospitals with good library resources. Although this had served the students fairly well, it was not a reliable method, and the faculty was committed to providing adequate library services and improving the information literacy skills of students in the graduate program. 

    To start the improvement process, a fully qualified half-time librarian was hired. In addition, FSMFN contracted with the University of Kentucky Medical Library to provide expert consultation and support. Strategic planning goals were developed for the library, which guided the development of a comprehensive online library that is continuously available to faculty and students on-site and off site. 

    The on site physical collection focuses on primary care and midwifery resources that students only need when on campus. The new library provides adequate physical space and includes a fully equipped computer lab that students use during their on site sessions. With full support from the FSMFN board of directors, a large building on campus called Aunt Hattie's Barn was renovated. 

    The library and a large, well equipped computer lab moved into this space in 2003. A dedicated high speed T1 line and wireless access for the campus were added. This speeds up access to library resources both when on campus and when at home. Wireless access cards are made available to on site students, allowing access to courses, the communication system, and library services.

    Today the school has a full-time qualified librarian and offers a comprehensive online library focused on primary care nursing and midwifery that is available to faculty and students anywhere and anytime. A well organized library website facilitates the use of the library. An online tutorial and an introduction to library services at Frontier Bound assists the students in becoming information literate. 

    The fully equipped physical library includes two computer access stations and 10 computer access stations in the computer lab on the second floor. A very active library committee includes the librarian, faculty, students, and a Web designer, who continuously evaluate the current library resources to meet the needs of the FSMFN community.

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