How Can I Verify that an Online BSN Degree Program Is Accredited?
Completing your bachelor's degree is a significant undertaking, so you will want to make sure that the online degree program through which you will earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is recognized by an appropriate accrediting institution. This article will help you verify that an online BSN degree program is accredited. We explain the two major agencies used to accredit nursing programs and provide useful resources for making sure the program you choose is certified by an authoritative body.
Verifying the Accreditation of an Online BSN Program
One of the first questions you'll probably ask when looking for an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program is whether or not the program is accredited - that is, whether it's met certain standards. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes two entities that accredit nursing degree programs, including online programs that allow licensed RNs to earn BSN degrees. These credentialing agencies can help you verify the accreditation status of the programs you consider.
Important Facts About Online BSN Programs
|Common Courses||Physiology, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Community Health|
|Prerequisites||General education courses, minimum GPA; some programs may require an assessment|
|Programs||Some schools offer pre-licensure BSN programs, as well as RN-to-BSN program options|
|Specializations||Anesthesia, midwifery, neonatal, CCU/ICU|
|Median Salary (2018)||$71,730 (for all registered nurses)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)||15% (for all registered nurses)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
CCNE Accreditation for Nursing Degrees
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an independent, autonomous agency that is affiliated with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The Commission focuses on certifying bachelor's and graduate degree programs in nursing. In total, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits 509 baccalaureate nursing programs. You can find a list of them through the Commission's website at www.aacn.nche.edu.
NLNAC Accreditation for Nursing Degrees
The second agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education is the Accrediting Commission of the National League for Nursing. The NLNAC accredits 1172 programs, including 248 baccalaureate programs within the United States; a small number of programs outside the country are also accredited. NLNAC-accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs are listed on its website, www.nlnac.org.
In addition to information directly available from these accrediting bodies, other sources of information might also be helpful to you in finding an accredited BSN program online. For example, all of the schools ranked by U.S. News and World Report are accredited by regional institutions. The Department of Education's Office of Post-Secondary Education also maintains the Database of Accredited Post-Secondary Institutions and Programs, which is a list of institutions that are accredited by Department of Education-recognized organizations. This list is available online at www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation.