Local Nursing Program Loses Accreditation

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WXTX) -  The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission is pulling Chattahoochee Valley Community College's specialized nursing accreditation, leaving students on edge.

"I think a lot of people are panicking because it's devastating to people. They put a lot of time, effort and money into their education and it's just scary," said nursing student Barbara Hatch.

So why did the program lose its status with the Commission?

"They found two areas of deficit. One was regarding adequate masters-prepared faculty in the clinical setting, the hands-on component," said CVCC President Laurel Blackwell.

Blackwell says that's been resolved by hiring new faculty members.

The other area she says the nursing program is lacking in is what's called the Systematic Evaluation Plan.

"That evaluation plan requires of us that we gather data on an ongoing basis. It is analyzing student learning and then doing continuous program improvement. We've been working on that. It's not that we haven't been doing it but they wanted more longitudinal data than we could provide," she explained.

Students like Barbara Hatch are sticking it out.

"This really doesn't change much for me. I plan to finish my RN here, get my RN license going. As long as I can sit for my state boards and find a job in the community, I'm OK with that," Hatch said.

Officials say the change will not keep students from doing just that.

"It does not keep us from having or operating a nursing program that would allow students to transfer credits and get financial aid and all those sorts of things," said Blackwell.

Hatch added, "I think at this point, everyone is going to have to figure out what the best move for them to pursue this goal because some people are going to want to go on with their education and losing this accreditation is going to make this a little bit more difficult."

The schools administration says they're working to get the nursing program's specialized accreditation back as soon as possible.

They say that process will take in excess of two years for them to regain candidacy and complete a self study for the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission to look at.