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Accreditation Standards for Nursing Schools

Accreditation is an essential part of any nursing program as it helps to measure the quality of education. By promoting the consistency of standards across all jurisdictions with the aid of substantive guidelines, it sets the high standards of health care delivery practice. Accreditation of nursing schools makes sure that minimum requirements of education quality are met and surpassed. Accrediting agencies are also needed because of the growing number of programs that require advanced certification (Collins, 1997).

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Accrediting bodies are concerned with quality and performance outcomes. They also try to identify practice content that would be consistent across various programs (Collins, 1997). Even though state boards make sure that education programs meet minimum requirements by examining NCLEX results, annual reports, and survey visits among other criteria, accrediting agencies achieve consistency across the whole country (Collins, 1997).

Accreditation must be driven by specific criteria and standards. They were developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and described in the two Essentials Documents (Collins, 1997). The accreditation agency looks for the institutional commitment and resources that are needed for the program when it reviews a school. It is necessary to ensure that both fiscal and physical resources meet the essential criteria so a school can achieve its objectives and expected outcomes. Such academic support services as libraries, advising services, and research support are evaluated regularly (Collins, 1997).

The quasi-governmental agency is an entity that has some relationship to the federal government but not in the sense determined in Title 5 of the U.S. Code. It is a hybrid structure with some of the qualities of both the private and government enterprises (CRS, 2011).


Collins, M. (1997). Issues of Accreditation: A Dean’s Perspective. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 2(3).

CRS. (2011). The Quasi Government: Hybrid Organizations with Both Government and Private Sector Legal Characteristics. Web.

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