ISSUED: 28 June 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Costa
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University School of Nursing’s Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation will continue for 10 more years after the board voted in April to grant accreditation to three programs offered by the school—the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and post-graduate certificate programs.
The certificate programs started in Fall 2021 and give nurses who already have their doctorate the opportunity to be certified as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners or family nurse practitioners.
The accreditation process involves both a self-study and an on-site visit by CCNE representatives. The School of Nursing accreditation now extends to June 30, 2032, with a requirement that a progress report be submitted in five years.
“All three programs went through the review, and we met all the standards with no concerns,” said Dr. Sharon Mailey, dean, College of Nursing, Education, and Health Sciences, and director, School of Nursing. “We had a perfect outcome.”
Mailey credits the School of Nursing’s “phenomenal faculty,” who conducted the self-study, led the school through the accreditation process and guided students to success on their certification and licensure exams. DNP students have a 100 percent pass rate for board certification and the rate for BSN students passing their licensure exam is 93 percent.
“The fact that we get a 100 percent pass rate speaks to the quality of the teaching-learning process and to the quality of the practicum experience,” Mailey said. “At the DNP level, students have to put in 1,080 clinical hours, at the certification level it’s 540 hours, and BSN clinical hours are 610. Our preceptors in the community are just phenomenal supporters of the program.”
Practicum hours for undergraduate, graduate, and certificate students cannot be performed on simulators—all must be direct care hours working with a licensed provider and seeing patients. Mailey said the School of Nursing recruits students from within a 50–75-mile radius, and they work at healthcare facilities throughout the region during their clinical hours.
“These students have a commitment to be of service and deliver quality patient care to this community,” Mailey said. “We have had nothing but positive comments. Students are hired immediately upon graduation and passing their certification and NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination). These students have jobs before they ever graduate.”
In 2019, the School of Nursing received a four-year, $2.7 million Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which Mailey credits with significantly contributing to resources in the labs. The HRSA grant has provided technology to give the students the skills they need before going out into the clinical setting.
“For the undergraduate, the skills labs are so essential, especially in COVID times, so that they can practice with the personal protective equipment—the donning of and taking off the equipment in preparation for taking care of a very high-risk population,” Mailey said. “The students’ performance has been stellar. This community should be very proud of the contributions they make, and the contribution Shepherd is making to give quality healthcare to very vulnerable populations.”
For more information, visit the School of Nursing website.
Listen to Dr. Sharon Mailey talk about the reaccreditation here.
— 30 —