Accreditation for Nursing Schools: A Dean’s Perspective

In her article, Collins (1997) explains the importance of accreditation for nursing schools by the necessity to set appropriate standards in academic training. She emphasizes that there are no general criteria for nursing programs assessment: while the State Board of Nursing covers the majority of them, some states, for instance, New York, have other agencies that perform the same function and adhere to different frameworks. In this context, accreditation guarantees that nurses are provided with the proper education. Accreditation for a nursing school is, ideally, “a measure of quality” (Collins, 1997, para. 4). Since the preparation of highly qualified professionals is vital, it becomes an important step in terms of quality assurance.

What an accreditation agency should do is to concentrate on “quality, performance outcomes, and identification of practice knowledge and content” (Collins, 1997, para. 7). In other words, reviewing a nursing school, an agency must consider whether nursing students are provided with adequate theoretical knowledge and skills and how it is implemented. It is necessary to examine if standards are higher than minimum requirements imposed by a state.

Reviewing a nursing school, an accreditation agency is to take into account numerous quality criteria. Documents and records are essential: as the author specifies, annual reports, NCLEX examination results, and survey visits are some of them (Collins, 1997). On the other hand, active involvement is equally important. Communication through meetings, conferences, workshops, town meetings, and the Internet technologies becomes valuable criteria for evaluating the quality of a program (Collins, 1997).

As for quasi-governmental agencies, they act under partial government regulation. They have some tasks given by the government, but they still operate more like a voluntary agency (McKenzie, Venturelli, Pinger, & Fleckenstein, 2014). In comparison with governmental organizations, they can act independently.


Collins, M. (1997). Issues of accreditation: A dean’s perspective. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 2(3). Web.

McKenzie, J. F., Venturelli, P. J., Pinger, R. R., & Fleckenstein, A. E. (2014). An introduction to community & public health. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.