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Nursing programs receive top grade

By Sharon Gray | Sept. 8, 2008

The accreditation report is in and Memorial’s Bachelor of Nursing (Collaborative) Program has once again received the best possible result – full seven-year accreditation. As well, the School of Nursing’s BN Post-RN program was accredited for seven years.

The BN (Collaborative) Program is delivered at three sites in the province – the Western Regional School of Nursing in Corner Brook, and the Centre for Nursing Studies and Memorial’s School of Nursing in St. John’s. This time each site delivering the program was assessed separately and all three were accredited.

The accreditation was done by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN), which accredits all nursing baccalaureate programs in Canada.

““We are delighted,” said Dr. Sandra LeFort, director of Memorial’s School of Nursing. “This result is a testament to the dedication of all our faculty and staff in making our programs outstanding.”

Linda Norman-Robbins, director of the Western Regional School of Nursing, noted that the accreditation report had no recommendations for improvement in the program. “This is the first time this has happened!”

Joan Rowsell, director of the Centre for Nursing Studies, said the three schools have given permission to CASN to use the report on the Newfoundland and Labrador nursing programs to educate other accreditors.

The Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador (ARNNL) offered its congratulations to the MUN School of Nursing and partners at the Centre for Nursing Studies and the Western Regional School of Nursing on receiving a seven-year accreditation decision from CASN for all three educational units, the BN (Collaborative) Program and Memorial’s BN (Post RN) Program.

Jim Feltham, president of ARNNL noted, “CASN has a comprehensive and rigorous accreditation program. This is the second time running for all three Schools of Nursing to earn the highest level of CASN accreditation – seven years. That’s quite an achievement. We commend the faculty and staff members of the schools on their commitment to educational excellence and leadership for the profession.

ARNNL executive director, Pegi Earle, added, “We are proud of the caliber of the BN graduates. It is through the three schools’ commitment to a high quality education that the graduates are well prepared to practice in our complex health care system. Congratulations to all!”

Madeleine Buck, chair of the Accreditation Bureau also offered her congratulations to the directors and faculty members on the excellent preparation for and conduct of the visit of the CASN review team. “I also thank you for your commitment to quality nursing education of nurses in Newfoundland and wish you success in the coming years.”

In the report of the BN (Collaborative) program, the four-member review team had many positive comments about the program, the students and the clinical experiences for students etc. 

“Students were identified by all groups that we interviewed as the number one strength of the program and almost all evaluation data (discussion and documents) confirmed this conclusion to us. Overall we left with the impression that students were well prepared with strong generalist skills (regarding clinical reasoning and confidence).”

The report went on to say, “The program continues to admit a high calibre of students who have a strong high desire to be a nurse. The collaboration with clinical and community partners is well established and they work well together to provide students with a well-rounded educational experience. Employers were pleased about the ability of the graduates to integrate into the workplace.”

The report noted that there is good access to clinical placements with over 150 community placements being utilized in the program. “Overall, there was ample evidence provided that this is a sound, effective, well-resourced curriculum and program. The partners have created a strong sense of community and commitment to ensuring that they meet CAUSN accreditation standards and Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador competencies for practice”.

Faculty at all sites had input into the accreditation review. Key people in preparing the review included Marge Hackett at the School of Nursing, Anne Marie Tracey and Beverley Janes at the Centre for Nursing Studies, and Colleen Anderson and Annette Demy at the Western Regional School of Nursing.