How important is it to graduate from an accredited nursing school?
I'm trying to get into the RN program at my local community college in California (all my prereqs are done, just waiting for a spot in the impacted program) and I just learned it's not accredited by any of the nursing school accrediting agencies. It's got a pretty high NCLEX pass rate and everyone says it's a good program, but should I be concerned about the lack of accreditation? Will that be a problem when I look for jobs after graduation? Advice from RNs would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
I've spent 4 years trying to do all the prereqs (the classes were all full) and I didn't even know about accreditation till now. I wish I had known before, I would have made sure to go to an accredited program in the first place! :( Is accreditation so important that I should take a few more years to switch to a different program?
- CoachTLv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
You're looking at two different types of accreditation here. There's institutional accreditation and programmatic accreditation.
A school that is regionally accredited as an institution IS "accredited" and that's the essential part. If your community college is a public school, it's most likely accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges - that's what's important.
Next, in order for you to sit for the state RN license, it must be approved by your state for that purpose. If your school has a high NCLEX pass rate then it's approved by the state. Your state has some of the highest standards for getting nurse training approved in the country.
Then is program accreditation by one of the national organizations such as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC) This is most important if you want to transfer credit to another school that is NLNAC accredited but isn't what decides approval by your state and isn't usually that important to employers. It might be an issue if you want to go from a bachelor's degree to a master's in nursing and it's important for your master's if you'd like to teach nursing.
As regulated professions go, nursing employers are predictable. They care most whether you have a license (RN) and then which degree preparation (ASN, BSN, MSN) you have. Then they look at your record (employment, criminal, and health). For some positions they want an additional certification and some of those certifications will prefer a degree from an NLNAC school - most have additional options.
When employers check the accreditation of your school they look here --> http://www.chea.org/search/default.asp this is the list of all accredited colleges and universities in the US recognized as "accredited" by the US Dept of Education. If the school is in this list, HR checks off the box for "accredited degree" - if your school isn't in this list, HR will probably trash your application. Check the list yourself and see what it says about your school.
- Anonymous10 years ago
I do not know about the field but if you do not graduate from an accredited school then it really hurts your chances at getting a job. Do you know many people that finished from that school and are in the field? I'd go to the career center in your school and sit down and discuss the situation with them. Ask them how many get placed in jobs. Ask there where they are going. Maybe the school has a partnership with locations that will accept their graduates.
- 10 years ago
I wouldn't wast my money on a school that wasn't accredited. That is just silly to me.