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College of Nursing Programs Earns Highest Level of Accreditation 

CHARLESTON, SC (April 29, 2010) – The Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing has received a full 10-year accreditation without any recommendations for its baccalaureate and master’s degree programs following a thorough onsite evaluation of the school's curriculum by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The CCNE, the nation’s top nursing school review body, awarded the College of Nursing the highest level of accreditation a nursing school can receive.

College of Nursing studentsEarning CCNE’s full accreditation strengthens the College’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs, which in turn, aids in addressing the nursing shortage. The need for highly educated nurses is expected to increase in the coming years due to health care reform. The new law positively impacts the nursing profession by providing incentives for students to enter nursing school and also provides loan repayment opportunities for nurses to pursue graduate education. In South Carolina, the demand for nurses with baccalaureate and higher degrees is expected to intensify as health care reform is implemented, and access to health care increases.

“This excellent accreditation report confirms MUSC’s mission of “fueling the nursing pipeline” by providing more entry level nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse faculty. It also reflects on the truly outstanding quality of our faculty, as educators, clinicians and researchers,” said MUSC College of Nursing Dean Gail Stuart, PhD, RN.  “As a College of Nursing, we set the bar high and, as reflected by this report, we have achieved success.”

Receiving CCNE’s full accreditation assures students, parents and the public that the MUSC College of Nursing adheres to high quality standards based on successful and effective educational practices. “This is the best possible outcome a nursing program can receive. This accreditation assures current and prospective students that we have nationally endorsed programs of study, and validates the College’s strengths as a leader in nursing education,” said Sally Stroud, EdD, APRN, MUSC College of Nursing’s associate dean for academics.

A College of Nursing accreditation committee -- including a leadership team headed by Dean Stuart and chaired by former College of Nursing faculty member Elizabeth Erkel, PhD, RN -- worked on the accreditation process in 2009. Recently, CCNE began assessing clinical nursing doctorates. CCNE will evaluate the MUSC College of Nursing’s new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program this fall. Currently, there is not a nursing accrediting body for PhD programs. This particular doctoral program falls under MUSC’s accreditation awarded in 2007 from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

The CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency, ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing, and is officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency.  CCNE serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. As a voluntary, self‑regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self‑assessment by nursing programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and post-baccalaureate nurse residency programs.

For more information, contact Beth Barnett Khan: or 843-792-9690.

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Faculty positions are now available for FNP and PNP nurses with doctoral preparation. [View PDF File]

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