Nursing School Accreditation: What is It and Why Does It Matter?

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outside view of Northeastern University Nursing building

With so many program options for becoming a registered nurse, how can you distinguish high quality programs from the crowd? When you’re choosing a nursing program, keep nursing school accreditation in mind.

At Northeastern University, we put great effort into offering a top-quality Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program that is relevant to today’s nurses and the fast-changing nature of healthcare. To ensure the quality of our programs, we maintain accreditations at the state, regional, and industry level.

As you consider which nursing school to attend, here’s what you need to know about nursing school accreditation and what to look for in the right program.

What is Accreditation?

Nursing school accreditation is a way to assess the quality of nursing schools. Regulatory boards have created a set of widely accepted standards that they use to assess nursing schools. In order to maintain accreditation, schools must meet all those requirements.

CCNE accreditation logo

Nursing school accreditation primarily comes from either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

When a nursing school is accredited, that means it meets the accrediting body’s necessary guidelines for quality and safety.

It’s worth noting that in addition to accreditation, attending a nursing school that has state approval from their state’s board of nursing is also important. This adds another layer of quality assurance. Attending a state-approved program helps prevent any hiccups when you apply for your state RN license after graduation as well. When choosing a program, ensure it has both accreditation and state approval.

Why Is Accreditation Important?

Here are a few reasons that nursing school accreditation is vital for choosing a quality program:

1. Quality of Curriculum

Accreditation is an intense process for all involved — the accrediting body as well as the school’s faculty and staff. It requires the completion of several steps, including self-studies conducted by the institution and its programs, peer review from schools with similar standards, and regular site visits from members of the accrediting organization. It’s easy to trust in the quality of a curriculum that’s gone through so many checks and balances!

Two ABSN students studying online together

2. Eligibility for Financial Aid

Federal and state organizations that provide scholarships and loans to students want to make sure their money is being used wisely. For this reason, they typically require accreditation as a condition of receiving funds. In other words, if you attend an accredited nursing school, you have a better chance of receiving financial assistance at the federal and state level than if you earned a degree at a non-accredited school.

3. Ability to Advance Your Education

Accreditation is a key way for other schools to gauge the quality of coursework you’ve completed. If you’re looking to advance your education and earn a master’s or doctorate degree in nursing in the future, it’s vital to attend an accredited BSN program. Attending an accredited ABSN program will ensure your credits transfer when you apply for an advanced degree program, such as a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist program.

4. Value to Employers

Many healthcare employers are recruiting nurses with an RN license and a BSN from an accredited nursing school. Institutions that offer an accredited nursing curriculum have a heightened awareness of how nursing education impacts patient safety and the advanced critical-thinking skills required of nurses today.

What to Look for When Choosing a Nursing School

When you’re looking for a quality nursing program, the first step is to look for accreditation and state approval. Additionally, you’ll want to look for other indications of the ideal program, including:

  • Bachelor’s degree program
  • Accelerated program format
  • High first-time NCLEX pass rates
  • Accessibility of online courses
  • Robust skills and simulation lab opportunities
  • Clinical rotations in diverse specialties at high-quality healthcare facilities
  • Qualified nursing faculty and instructors
  • Long-standing reputation for excellence

Northeastern University Accreditation

Rest assured that the baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Northeastern University is accredited by the CCNE. We have a high commitment to excellence and preparing our students to excel in their nursing careers.

In addition to accreditation, Northeastern is in excellent standing with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. The Charlotte location of Northeastern University’s Accelerated BSN program is approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

Northeastern University ABSN students

Our accreditation and state approval ensure we’re offering an effective nursing curriculum and providing our students with the opportunity for a bright future.

Begin Your Nursing Journey at Northeastern!

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, or at least 62 non-nursing college credits for our Charlotte location, you may be eligible for the ABSN program at Northeastern. This 16-month program offers locations near Boston, Massachusetts, and in Charlotte, North Carolina. We offer three start dates per year at both of our locations, allowing you to begin your nursing school path sooner.

The Northeastern ABSN program incorporates a mix of online learning, in-person labs, and clinical rotations to ensure our students develop top-quality nursing skills in less time than a traditional nursing program. We’re committed to preparing our students to sit for the NCLEX and launch into a successful career.

Fill out our online form to get in touch with our admissions counselors. We’ll schedule a time to talk with you about the program and see whether it’s the right fit for you. Choose Northeastern for your degree!

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