Accreditation Standards of Graduate Nursing Programs

What responsibility do faculty have in program assessment? How about students? Alumni?

Departments of nursing have assessment plans for evaluating their academic programs. Faculty members of an institution rely on both formal and informal assessment methods in the classroom to improve the quality of instruction (CSU, 2016). In order to maximize the effectiveness of faculty and promote the best teaching practices, the department chair along with peers regularly evaluate their performance. Students also participate in program assessment by periodically filling in students’ course evaluation forms (CSU, 2016). It helps to better understand how curriculum design and faculty activities influence students’ academic achievement. Student affairs also engage in program assessment by making sure that the program’s mission and purpose are aligned with those of a parent institution. Alumni of nursing programs also provide invaluable insight into the effectiveness of education. Nursing departments administer periodical assessment surveys to graduates of their programs thereby making it possible to gain a better understanding of the skills, knowledge, and abilities that they have (CSU, 2016). Furthermore, alumni can provide useful suggestions about how a program can be improved.

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Review the four areas of accreditation requirements. Select one of these areas and discuss how you might ensure compliance

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) conducts accreditation of nursing programs based on the evaluation of four areas: program quality (mission and governance); program quality (institutional commitment and resources); program quality (curriculum and teaching-learning practices); program effectiveness (assessment and achievement of program outcomes) (CCNE, 2013).

Program quality (mission and governance) is the first area of accreditation that helps to ensure that the mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the program not only coincide with those of the institution but also “reflect professional nursing standards and consider the needs and expectations of the community of interest” (CCNE, 2013, p. 8). Moreover, the area is needed to guarantee that the nursing program is supported by the parent institution through its policies and involvement of the faculty and students.

In order to ensure compliance with the first standard of accreditation, it is necessary to check whether the mission, goals and expected outcomes are regularly reviewed and revised by faculty members of a parent institution. Furthermore, both the faculty and students have to know the key elements of the criteria for evaluation of the nursing program in order to make sure that it is in agreement with both institutional and professional nursing standards and norms (CCNE, 2013). Moreover, to ensure compliance with accreditation requirements it is necessary to provide periodical reviews of academic policies of the institution using feedback from students and faculty (CCNE, 2013).

Discuss each article separately, address each topic and provide other references to support answers please do not base the response solemnly on the article

An article written by Broussard and Hurst (2015) examines the issue of academic integrity specifically focusing on plagiarism, its prevention, and detection. The authors suggest that the problem of plagiarism especially has come to the fore with the rapid growth of numbers of online courses as well as the significant deepening of IT integration into the educational process. Broussard and Hurst (2015) note that numerous instances of plagiarism are unintentional. Therefore, leaders at all levels of nursing programs have to ensure that students fully understand both repercussions of plagiarism and how to avoid it. The article suggests that campus pledges, judicial boards, and reporting requirements can promote a culture of academic honesty and foster student success (Broussard & Hurst, 2015). There is ample evidence pointing to the fact that the provision of citation assistance can reduce the incidence of plagiarism (Park, Mardis, & Ury, 2011).

Johanson (2010) in her article on the issue of academic honesty also recognizes the importance of providing students with information about what constitutes plagiarism. She argues that nursing students are less familiar with academic writing requirements than students in other majors. Therefore, in order to encourage academic honesty, it is necessary to provide them with prototypical papers, so they have a better understanding of the expectations of written assignments (Johanson, 2010). The author also states that “changing an assignment from semester to semester” (Johanson, 2010, p. 271) is an effective way of discouraging students from using numerous web services offering papers for purchase.

An article discussing the results of a 3-year trial of a contextual approach to academic honesty suggests it is necessary to consider both “students as emerging nurse professionals and their multicultural backgrounds and experiences” (Coffey & Anyinam, 2012, p. 63). The authors involved aspiring nurse professionals in the process of developing “the program-specific community code of conduct” (Coffey & Anyinam, 2012, p. 63). They argue that it helped students to better understand their role as professionals and the importance of the commitment to academic honesty. According to Coffey and Anyinam (2012), while dealing with the issue of academic dishonesty, it is necessary to consider the cultural context of students enrolled in nursing programs.

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McGee (2013) in her article on the issue of academic honesty in online courses brings to attention the fact that virtual educational environments create significant challenges for ensuring the integrity of students’ works. The author reiterates the strategies for decreasing academic dishonesty proposed by other scholars studying the issue by stating that it is essential to make academic honesty expectations clear (McGee, 2013). She also argues that cheating might be substantially reduced if institutions offering online education develop alternative assessment strategies. According to Cluskey and Craig (2011), student cheating during online exams in the absence of a proctor could be thwarted by the implementation of Online Exam Control Procedures (OECP) that limit exam time, limit student access, and change test characteristics.

According to Walker and Townley (2012), contract cheating is a prevalent form of academic dishonesty. It involves students hiring writers via the Internet in order to purchase assignments and later submit them as their own work (Walker & Townley, 2012). There are no effective measures for preventing contract cheating; therefore, the authors argue that it is necessary to “include greater use of exams rather than essays or take-home assignments, and viva voce oral examinations to back up assignments” (Walker & Townley, 2012, p. 39). Moreover, in order to ensure that students do not outsource their work, it is recommended to involve them in the sequential assessment of their papers by setting all assignments in stages (Walker & Townley, 2012).

Review the National League of Nursing CNE Certification Handbook Analyze the Detailed Test Blueprint. Create a mind map with the certification as the focal point. List five items from the blueprint that you feel are the most important. Offer details as to why you feel these are the most important parts of the test and their significance to nurse education.

The CNE Test Blueprint consists of six major content areas and three sub-areas. It could be argued that the following five areas are the most important: facilitate learning; facilitate learner development and socialization; use assessment and evaluation strategies; participate in curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes; engage in scholarship, service, and leadership (NLN, 2016). Facilitate learning is the biggest part of the test that allows evaluating the core competencies of nurse educators as well as an understanding of their role (NLN, 2016).

The second area of assessment is an important part of the test because it helps to examine academic nurse educators’ ability to determine the individual needs of students and provide them with adequate instruments for the development of cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains. Use assessment and evaluation strategies are extremely important to nurse education because without evaluating outcomes it is impossible to improve the teaching-learning process (NLN, 2016). The fourth area of assessment is also essential to nursing education because participation in program design and evaluation helps to ensure continuous quality improvement. Engage in scholarship, service, and leadership is the fifth assessment area of the test that evaluates whether educators are able to function as effective leaders that are willing to implement meaningful change in their institutions (NLN, 2016). Appendix A shows major content areas of the test.


Broussard, L., & Hurst, H. (2015). Plagiarism prevention and detection. Nurse Educator, 40(4), 168.

CCNE. (2013). Standards for accreditation of baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs. Web.

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Cluskey, G., & Craig, E. (2011). Thwarting online exam cheating without proctor supervision. Journal of Academic and Business Ethics, 23(2), 1-8.

Coffey, S., & Anyinam, C. (2012). Trialing a contextual approach to academic honesty. Nurse Educator, 37(2), 62-66.

CSU. (2016). Program assessment. Web.

Johanson, L. (2010). Encouraging academic honesty: A nursing imperative. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(3), 267-271.

McGee, P. (2013). Supporting academic honesty in online courses. Journal of Educators Online, 10(1), 1-31.

NLN. (2016). Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) 2016 candidate handbook. Web.

Park, S., Mardis, L., & Ury, C. (2011). I’ve lost my identity – oh, there it is … in a style manual. Reference Services Review, 39(1), 42-57.

Walker, M., & Townley, C. (2012). Contract cheating: A new challenge for academic honesty? Journal of Academic Ethics, 10(1), 27-44.

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Appendix A: Major Content Areas

Major Content Areas
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