UNCP’s nursing program earns CCNE accreditation


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has granted accreditation to the undergraduate nursing program at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

In a May 6 letter, CCNE notified officials at UNCP that accreditation was approved for a full 10-year term. CCNE is the national accrediting body for nursing education programs.

CCNE Director Dr. Jennifer Butlin offered congratulations on behalf of her board for a clean report.

Barbara Synowiez

Barbara Synowiez

“The board determined that there are no compliance concerns or areas for improvement with respect to key elements,” Dr. Butlin said. “The commissioners join me in expressing our best wishes as you proceed with the tasks important to the future of your nursing program.”

CCNE accreditation is the “gold standard” for baccalaureate and graduate nursing schools across the nation, said Dr. Barbara Synowiez, interim chair of UNCP’s Department of Nursing.

“In preparation for the visit, the faculty engaged in an extensive self-study that examined all aspects of our mission, goals and curricula,” Dr. Synowiez said. “This accreditation would not have been possible without the dedication and perseverance of the faculty and staff.”

UNCP offers two tracks to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree - one for registered nurses (RNs) and a new four-year, pre-licensure program.

UNCP’s nursing program is one of the first in the nation to earn accreditation under revised standards set by CCNE, Dr. Synowiez said. It is also the first accreditation achieved by UNCP’s nursing program as a stand-alone nursing education institution, because, until August 2004, the nursing program was part of the Southeastern North Carolina Nursing Consortium that was operated jointly with Fayetteville State University. It is also the first accreditation achieved by UNCP with the new four-year pre-licensure BSN track on board.

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors also congratulated the Department of Nursing.

“We are very proud of the growth and development of our nursing program,” Chancellor Meadors said. “The hard work and dedication of this department has resulted in important gains for the University and for the nursing profession and healthcare in our region.”

CCNE is an arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the only national organization dedicated exclusively to furthering baccalaureate and graduate nursing education.

UNCP’s accreditation followed a three-day site visit by a team of CCNE evaluators. The visiting team reviewed a self-study and met with University administrators, faculty, students and community leaders.

A progress report will be submitted to CCNE in 2010, followed by another on-site evaluation in the fall of 2014.

It has been a busy year for the Department of Nursing at UNCP.

The four-year BSN program was approved by the UNC Board of Governors and North Carolina Board of Nursing in September 2004. Fifty pre-nursing candidates were admitted in the 2005 spring semester, and they will begin pre-licensure courses in July on the new campus at Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, N.C.

The RN-to-BSN program, which was founded in 1992 and has approximately 100 RNs enrolled, will expand this summer to its fourth site in the region on Ft. Bragg. Headquartered in Pembroke, the program has two satellite campuses at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, N.C., and at Sandhills Community College in Southern Pines, N.C.

For more information about nursing education at UNCP, please call 910.521.6522 or 910.775.4140, visit the Web site for the Department of Nursing at www.uncp.edu/nursing or email the department at nursing@uncp.edu.