Nursing School Accreditation | CCNE & ACEN
What Is Nursing Accreditation?
Nursing Accreditation Bodies
Why Is Nursing School Accreditation Important?
Nursing Accreditation FAQs
Lists of accredited nursing schools and programs are available from reputable accrediting agencies, such as the ACEN, the CCNE or a regional accrediting agency. Their websites may feature a database or search function that lets you look up nursing school accreditation. Often, the schools themselves note their accreditation status on their websites.
Enrolling in an accredited nursing program may make you eligible for federal financial aid. It may also better prepare you to take nursing exams and pursue state licensure. An accredited nursing program may also ensure that an institution’s credits are transferable. In general, accredited programs are credible programs offering quality nursing education.
There are nursing schools that lack accreditation from nursing accreditation bodies such as the CCNE and ACEN. However, accreditation by a U.S. Department of Education-approved accrediting agency helps assure that a nursing program stays on track. Students may benefit from accredited nursing programs because they tend to be more widely recognized and valued by employers.
The most credible form of accreditation comes from an accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, including CCNE and ACEN. The best accreditation for you may depend on the level of nursing degree that you are working toward. Some APRN specialties may have separate accrediting agencies. Ultimately, it depends on your personal career trajectory.
There may be serious downsides. Your nursing credits may not transfer to other schools, you may not be as qualified or prepared to take the NCLEX exam, you may not be eligible for federal financial aid and you may have more difficulty getting hired. In the worst cases, you may not be able to take the NCLEX due to certain restrictions.
It depends on the judgment of your state’s board of nursing, but it’s possible that your state will not allow you to take the NCLEX if your school is not accredited. It may be a good idea to contact your state’s board of nursing directly to verify that the school you are interested in will qualify you to take the NCLEX.
Yes. For example, there are many online MSN programs that have CCNE or ACEN accreditation. These programs can be less expensive than other forms of nursing education. However, it’s always a good idea to make sure the accreditation is up to date and that the program meets your state’s requirements.