TTU nursing program gets notification of accreditation by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

“This is a real vote of confidence in the quality of Tennessee Tech University’s nursing program.”

That’s what Dean Marilyn Musacchio said about its recent notification of accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the nation’s only accrediting agency for higher education nursing that gave the university’s program its highest endorsement for initial accreditation.

“This organization recognizes the quality of our program in spite of our severe facilities need,” she said. “We will be accredited by CCNE for five years, which is the maximum any first-time applicant can be accredited for. Not all applicants get that level of initial accreditation from the agency — and some don’t get accredited at all — so this is quite a distinction.”

The TTU nursing program’s current accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission continues through fall 2005.

Musacchio said there were a number of reasons for deciding to switch accrediting agencies. “Each one approaches the accreditation process differently,” she said.

While the NLNAC seems to focus more closely on current performance, the CCNE focuses more closely on outcomes, requiring institutions every three years to submit progress reports that explore their improvements and deficiencies.

“The bottom line is that there’s always room for improvement, and CCNE helps each program recognize both their strengths and their areas for improvement,” Musacchio said.

Another difference in the agencies is that NLNAC offers accreditation to a wider variety of nursing programs, including two-year associate degree programs and LPN programs, while the CCNE offers accreditation only to college- and university-level nursing programs.

Seventy percent of all the nation’s baccalaureate nursing programs are currently accredited by CCNE.

A fundraising campaign is underway to raise $21 million to construct a School of Nursing facility at TTU, the first specifically built to house the university’s 25-year-old nursing program.

Its former facility was condemned several years ago, and until the new building is complete, temporary classroom facilities have been constructed in TTU’s Jere Whitson Building, and its administrative offices are housed in various locations across campus.

For more information about the nursing campaign, call University Development at 931/372-3055 or check out the “Giving to TTU” link on the university homepage at www.tntech.edu.