December 15, 2015

UAMS College of Nursing Receives Maximum Accreditation for Four Programs

College of nursing faculty celebrates full accredidation

LITTLE ROCK — The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education has granted maximum accreditation to four programs in the College of Nursing at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the only university in Arkansas to have all four accredited by the commission.

Three programs received 10-year accreditations — Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing and the Post-Master’s Advanced Practice Certificate. The Doctor of Nursing Practice, which began in 2013, received a five-year initial accreditation, the maximal length awarded to new programs.

The college is also home to the state’s only PhD program in nursing, however, the commission does not provide accreditation for PhD programs.

“I’m extremely proud of our faculty and students,” said Patricia A. Cowan, PhD, RN, dean of the College of Nursing. “It speaks strongly to our exemplary programs and the commitment we have from university administration and the community.”

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education serves higher education institutions and acute care hospitals throughout the United States for the purpose of ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing. It is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency.

“While the accreditation is voluntary, there is an expectation that nursing schools will obtain the credential,” said Cowan. “Further, this accreditation process reviews the quality of a program and exemplifies those with merit.”Accreditation with cake

The accreditation is a non-governmental peer-review process that operates in agreement with nationally recognized standards established for the accreditation practice throughout the country. The commission’s standards for accreditation include reviews of the program’s mission and governance, institutional commitment and resources, curriculum and teaching-learning practices, and assessment and achievement of program outcomes.

Each institution is required to submit a report to the commission, which addresses each standard. The process includes an on-site visit over multiple days that involves meetings with students and institutional and external constituents. The commission visitors observe classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences of students and review documents supporting the overall quality of the programs, including student evaluations of courses, clinicals and faculty, as well as student graduation, licensure and certification pass rates.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and two dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.