July 6, 2010
Oklahoma Baptist University's School of Nursing recently received notice of accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The accreditation is for both OBU's baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master of science degree program in nursing.
OBU's nursing program had been accredited by the National League for Nursing since 1960. However, university officials began pursuing the CCNE accreditation during the 2008-09 academic year. The accreditation confirmation comes during OBU's Centennial year, and during an academic term which includes the largest graduating class in OBU's School of Nursing history.
Oklahoma Baptist University nursing students learn the care of newborn child from Krista Ranck, instructor of nursing. OBU's School of Nursing has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
The new accreditation was effective Oct. 5, 2009, the first day of the programs' CCNE on-site evaluation. It extends for five years, stretching to June 30, 2015.
"Accreditation assures the public that our nursing program has been reviewed by expert nursing educators and found to meet standards for nursing programs, both undergraduate and graduate," said Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of OBU's School of Nursing. "The undergraduate accreditation meets the Oklahoma Board of Nursing requirement, and the graduate accreditation assures prospective students of a standard level of quality. We are very happy with the accreditation announcement."
At its April meeting, the CCNE Board of Commissioners determined both OBU's bachelor's degree and master's degree programs in nursing met all four accreditation standards. The OBU School of Nursing is approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. Graduates of the state-approved program are eligible to apply to write the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses.
OBU launched the state's first bachelor of science degree program in nursing in 1952. In 1981, OBU's School of Nursing was established from the existing program in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1987, the Ferril C. and Phyllis Williamson Nursing Education Center was dedicated in OBU's historic Thurmond Hall.
In 2008, OBU Graduate School in Oklahoma City added a master's degree in nursing, with the first cohort of 12 graduates receiving degrees in March 2010. During the 2009-10 academic year, about 185 students were enrolled as nursing majors. Forty-seven OBU nursing students participated in the Centennial Nurses' Pinning Ceremony in May 2010, marking the completion of their bachelor's degree program.
University administrators have identified the School of Nursing as a top priority in the new campus master plan, adopted during the May 14 meeting of OBU trustees.
"OBU's School of Nursing focuses on equipping nursing students with modern techniques and practices as well as critical thinking skills, pulling from the value of a liberal arts education environment," Bolhouse said.
Recent fiscal support has funded student scholarships, faculty support and a nursing residency program. Grants from two Oklahoma foundations enabled the purchase of four simulation manikins to assist students in clinical training.
The School of Nursing offers an option designed to facilitate completion of degree requirements by the registered nurse with an associate degree or a diploma. This option is designed specifically for the adult learner. A pathway is available for licensed practical nurses to earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree through the LPN option. During the junior year of study, students enroll in clinical courses designed to meet the learning need of the individual student. For more information about the OBU School of Nursing, go online to www.okbu.edu/academics/nursing.
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, with the stated purpose of "contributing to the improvement of the public's health by ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing." The Commission serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. For more information about the CCNE, go online to www.aacn.nche.edu/Accreditation.