Shepherd University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program has been fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for five years, which is the maximum amount of time it can receive the accreditation.
A letter from the CCNE board to Dr. Sharon Mailey, chair of the Department of Nursing Education, acknowledges that Shepherd met all four accreditation standards with no areas of concern or follow-up required. The standards are: mission and governance, institutional commitment and resources, curriculum and teaching-learning practices, and assessment and achievement of program outcomes.
“We are thrilled to have received full accreditation for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program,” Mailey said. “National accreditation from CCNE is an honor and a responsibility to demonstrate to the community, our patients and families, and our institutional community partners a commitment to a quality professional education.”
Dr. Scott Beard, dean of graduate studies and associate provost, said having the accreditation tells potential students Shepherd offers a quality educational experience.
“CCNE is the gold standard,” Beard said. “Students want to make sure the program they’re attending is of high quality and that it’s accredited, so this seal of approval is really crucial for us.”
Students earning the D.N.P. are required to serve 1,080 clinical hours, something Beard calls a hallmark of the program.
“Throughout the curriculum, students continue to go out in the field, gain experience, meet with patients of all types, and be exposed to a wide range of healthcare facilities and situations,” Beard said.
Mailey said having the full accreditation allows the program to increase recruitment and provide more learning opportunities where students can give back to the community and serve as primary care providers to those in the greatest need. The CCNE accreditation will also allow the program to seek grants and scholarships to help sustain students’ education and recruit and retain top quality educators.
“Currently, all our full-time nursing faculty have earned doctorates and the advance practice nurses teach in their professional specialty, allowing them to enrich the classroom with their practical experiences,” Mailey said. “Our students are the best, they’re competent, caring, and compassionate, and they’re eager to serve as primary care providers to meet the needs of our most vulnerable. National accreditation acknowledges the quality of their education.”
The first class of D.N.P. students enrolled in 2015, and this fall will mark the first time all three years of the program will run concurrently. Beard estimates up to 45 students will be enrolled. The first D.N.P. class will graduate in August 2018. The CCNE accreditation is valid until June 20, 2022.
For more information about Shepherd’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, visit www.shepherd.edu/dnp.