The School of Nursing has regained accreditation of its master’s degree nursing program and was granted new accreditation of its online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certificate program as announced by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) on June 4. This comes after the CCNE conducted a full review and site study in September 2019.

“I am thrilled at the news, as now more than ever it is strikingly clear how vital our nursing students are to the future well-being of our community,” said Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Fresno State. “I’m very grateful for Interim Dean Jim Marshall’s leadership of the College of Health and Human Services at this time, and I’m truly appreciative to Dr. Sylvia Miller and the nursing faculty, who put their every effort into showcasing the excellence of our programs.”

Since receiving initial accreditation in 1968, the two-year master’s degree nursing program has produced over 1,500 graduates, 22 of whom graduated in May.

In June 2019, the School of Nursing was notified by CCNE that accreditation for the master’s degree program had been revoked as a result of a shortfall in satisfying certain documentation requirements of the CCNE.

At that time, all students in the program were given the option to remain in the program or take a leave of absence or withdraw completely from the program. Twenty-three students stayed with the program, with 22 of them completing all required coursework to earn their degrees this past May. Sixteen students are currently enrolled in the program for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Following the loss of accreditation, the School of Nursing took immediate action to resolve the matter, including working closely with the University’s assessment coordinator and hiring an outside consultant to help facilitate the preparation of materials needed for a successful site review.

“Faculty in the School of Nursing were committed to meeting the CCNE standards and more importantly, strengthening identified areas of concern,” said Dr. Sylvia Miller, chair of the School of Nursing. “The success of our students is vital to growing a health care workforce in the Central Valley and, with that, we are pleased to admit our newest cohort of the master’s program this coming fall 2020 semester.”

The master’s degree nursing program regained its accreditation by the CCNE for an additional five years, through June 2025.

In spring 2019, the University announced that the School of Nursing’s Certificate of Advanced Study – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner post-graduate program was never officially accredited by the CCNE as previously marketed, due to an administrative error. The one-year online program, initially launched in 2009, has now been newly accredited by the CCNE for 10 years, through June 2030.

Students who previously earned their certificates were provided a five-year grace period by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to earn the same certificate from an accredited program.

Fresno State arranged to have the 60 affected former students complete the one-year online program through CSU San Marcos, at no cost to the students. By completing the program at CSU San Marcos, the former students will not be impacted.

During the CCNE’s site visit in September 2019, the baccalaureate degree program also underwent a routine site visit to continue its existing accreditation, which has now been renewed through June 2030.

This coming September, the School of Nursing’s new Independent Doctor of Nursing Practice program, currently accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, will undergo a scheduled CCNE site review — a standard practice for all new degree programs. The former nursing doctoral program, California State University Northern California Consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice (in conjunction with San Jose State University) sunsetted, requiring a review of the new independent Fresno State Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

The School of Nursing graduates an average of 150 students each year from its baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs, many of whom stay and serve patients in the Central Valley.

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