Nursing students hone their skills in the simulation lab at Mid-Plains Community College. MPCC's Associate Degree of Nursing program has received full accreditation until the fall of 2023.
Great news for the Associate Degree of Nursing program at Mid-Plains Community College – it has received full accreditation until the fall of 2023.
"We couldn't be more excited," said Kathy Harrison, MPCC director of nursing. "The designation reaffirms what we already knew – that we have a quality program with quality instructors working in a top-notch facility."
The status comes from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the leading authority in nursing accreditation. It isn't granted to every educational institution, but is important for a variety of reasons.
"Some health care facilities require that their nurses come from an accredited institution," said Harrison. "It's also a benefit when our students try to further their education. Schools that offer bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing often require that classes transferring in be from an accredited program."
MPCC's nursing program has been accredited since 1994, but it has to be reevaluated periodically to maintain that accreditation.
"The accreditation process really holds nursing programs to a higher standard because of certain criteria that have to be met," said Harrison. "When institutions are non-compliant with those criteria it puts them at risk of losing their accreditation."
ACEN representatives visited MPCC in the fall of 2015 as part of the accreditation process. It was the first site visit to the college since 2007 and the first to the Health and Science Center, which was constructed in 2012.
"It was also the first site visit I had experienced as the director of nursing, and we had all new faculty that hadn't been part of the visit in 2007," said Harrison. "It was a learning process for all of us."
The ACEN representatives had positive remarks about the current nursing program. Among other things, they appreciated that so many of the training manikins are representative of different cultures – especially since MPCC's service area is not as culturally diverse as others.
"Also, when they were on campus in 2007, one of their concerns was that there wasn't enough room for students," said Harrison. "At that time, our nursing department was located in the W.W. Wood Building on North Campus. Now, thanks to the Health and Science Center, we have adequate room for our current student numbers."
There are also designated rooms in the building for specific aspects of instruction and a lab with state-of-the-art simulators.
"The facility definitely helped with our accreditation renewal as did the faculty," said Harrison. "All of us worked together on what we needed to do to receive the full accreditation we got. I'm blessed to have an excellent faculty and administrative support. I just feel really good about our program all the way around."
More information about the nursing program at MPCC is available online at www.mpcc.edu. Information about accreditation can be found at acenursing.org/.