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Nursing program receives maximum 10-year accreditation
11-18-13

The Misericordia University nursing program recently had its continuing accreditation extended for the maximum of 10 years to March 2023 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency that contributes to the improvement of public health. The commission ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing, according to CCNE (www.aacn.nche.edu).
 
“Program accreditation is one of the most important criteria that a college or university can achieve since it affirms that the university and the academic program are meeting or exceeding the established standards of excellence and quality,’’ said Cynthia Mailloux, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E., professor and chair of the Department of Nursing at Misericordia University. “The nursing program provides quality nursing education to our students, which is consistent with the mission of the University.’’
 
After an extensive self-study was submitted to CCNE by the Department of Nursing, representatives of the accrediting body conducted an on-campus site visit in March to assess the Misericordia University nursing program. Misericordia recently received notification that the nursing department was successful in meeting all four standards set by the commission.
 
The baccalaureate and master's programs at Misericordia University are accredited by the CCNE (www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).
 
Misericordia University features the oldest nursing program in the area and graduates more students in the health sciences than any other college or university in northeastern Pennsylvania. The University offers three undergraduate nursing programs: traditional, full-time nursing students; part-time accelerated evening program for adult students; and the RN-to-BSN Expressway Program. The undergraduate nursing programs are designed to meet the special educational and scheduling needs of adult and traditional students. They all lead to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
 
The graduate nursing programs are designed to meet the special needs of current BSN registered nurses who desire an advanced practice specialization as a family nurse practitioner. MU also offers a post-master’s certificate as a family nurse practitioner for nurses who already have a master’s degree. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education in health assessment, diagnosis and management of illnesses and injuries. Graduate programming leads to the Master of Science degree in nursing (MSN) and provides course work in a convenient part-time, one-day-a-week format.
 
Consistent with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report, Misericordia also has developed a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program that is currently under internal review. Administrators expect to seek approval from the Board of Trustees in February for a potential launch in the fall of 2014.  
 
Undergraduate and graduate nursing students have also been successful in passing their national licensure examinations. Most recently, baccalaureate degree nursing students who graduated from the Bachelor of Science degree program during the past year achieved a pass rate that was 16 percentage points higher than the national average for pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
 
MU’s BSN graduates achieved a 98.08-percent pass rate for first-time test-takers who took the NCLEX-RN examination between Oct. 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2013. Misericordia graduates exceeded both the average national pass rate of 82.07 percent and the average pass rate in Pennsylvania of 85.31 for baccalaureate degree programs. It marks the third year in a row that the nursing program’s pass rates surpassed the state and national averages. 
 
The Misericordia University pass rate percentages are particularly significant since the exam was made more rigorous this year, as seen by a 10-point decrease in the national average for baccalaureate programs from 92.07 last year to 82.07 this year, according to program administrators.  The complexity of the exam also resulted in the state average dropping by 5.48 percentage points, from 90.79 in 2012 to 85.31 in 2013. The Misericordia University pass rate decreased just slightly more than two-tenths of a percent from 98.3 in 2012.
 
In addition, the May 2013 graduate degree nursing students in the Misericordia University Nurse Practitioner Program also recently received a 100-percent pass rate on the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner Examination. The nurse practitioner program continues to provide high quality nurse practitioners to local health care systems.
 
For more information about the nursing program at Misericordia University, please log on to www.misericordia.edu/nursing or call (570) 674-6474. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 34 academic majors on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full and part-time formats.