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Nursing at UNCP earns highest marks on reaccreditation

June 17, 2015

UNC Pembroke’s nursing programs continue to prosper. In June, the university was notified by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) that the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program earned accreditation for an additional 10 years and the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) for five years. 

“This is really great news for us,” said Dr. Barbara Synowiez, chair of the Department of Nursing. “CCNE is the gold standard of national accrediting, and we earned the maximum extension of our accreditation for both programs, and there were no compliance concerns.” 

CCNE’s board, which met in late April, determined that the program met all four accreditation standards. After a lengthy self-study and a three-day, on-site visit from a CCNE team, the board determined that there are no compliance concerns with respect to the key elements. 

The four-year BSN program began in 2005, and the MSN program graduated its first students this past May. UNCP’s BSN graduates have a 94 percent passing rate over the last three years on the nursing examination (NCLEX-RN), which easily exceeds CCNE and UNC standards. 

Chancellor Kyle R. Carter greeted the news with delight and noted that nursing is a continuing success story at UNCP. 

“I can’t say I’m surprised, because I’ve known for years that we offered a superior nursing program,” Dr. Carter said. “But nevertheless I am thrilled and very, very proud of the program that Dr. Synowiez has built with her faculty.” 

UNCP’s nursing program has been a story of growth in enrollment and excellence in academic achievement. For two consecutive years, UNCP could boast it was the state’s only public university with a perfect passing rate for BSN. 

Enrollment continues to grow and the program continues to attract higher quality students. In two commencements last year, UNCP graduated 63 nurses with BSN degrees. 

The first four nurses graduated from the new MSN program in May. The program has three specializations – nurse educator, clinical nurse leader and rural care management. One of the May grads will join UNCP’s nursing faculty and one will join the faculty of Sandhills Community College. 

Community support is also rising to the challenge of improving health care in the region. Private donors have established three endowed professorships in UNCP nursing. The first two will be dedicated next fall. 

The UNCP nursing success story has been accomplished with many partners, Dr. Synowiez notes. The four-year BSN program was housed on Southeastern Health’s Lumberton campus for its first seven years. 

“The list of our partners who deserve out thanks is quite lengthy,” she said. “Accreditation was a yearlong process that concluded with a three-day visit of the CCNE team. They looked at everything and interviewed faculty, administrators, students and community partners.” 

“It was thorough and exhausting and we’re very excited for the future of professional nursing at UNCP and the region we serve,” Dr. Synowiez said. 

For more information on nursing at UNCP, please contact them at (910) 521-6522 or email nursing@uncp.edu. Their website may be viewed at www.uncp.edu/nursing/.