by Kelly Rogge
The Kansas City Kansas Community College’s nursing program has done it again. It has received full accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
The goal of the ACEN is to provide accreditation to nursing education programs that offer a certificate, diploma or other recognized professional degree. The process started in spring 2013 when KCKCC submitted its self-study. A more than 200-page document, the self-study looks at every aspect of the program from faculty and staff, facilities and curriculum to current and former students.
A team then visited KCKCC in fall 2013 for an onsite visit before discussing it within the Evaluation Review Panel earlier this year. A staff review and referral was then made to the ACEN before the commission made the ultimate accreditation decision. Because this is full accreditation, the next evaluation visit will not be until fall 2021.
“This is a higher level of accreditation than just getting the O.K. from the state to be a program,” said Anita Krondak, director of the RN program for KCKCC’s Department of Allied Health and Nursing. “It shows that we have an excellent program and that we are meeting higher standards.”
Established in 1970, the nursing program is just one of many within the Department of Allied Health and Nursing. Many of the other programs are also accredited, although they receive accreditation through separate agencies. KCKCC has an articulation agreement with the University of Kansas so that nursing students can move right onto earning a bachelor’s degree at KU after completing the associate’s program.
The goal of the department, which has been accredited since 1973, is to provide the community with “outstanding practitioners” for all health care fields. While, ACEN accreditation is not required, most of the community colleges in Kansas are currently accredited.
One area was noted as a strength within the accreditation review – student access to a nursing retention specialist. There were also areas of improvement included in the accreditation review. Among these were revising program documents to ensure public information is accurate and concise; implementing strategies to increase public input and implementing an evaluation process for part-time faculty. Krondak said the department is already beginning to work on the suggestions.
“We really do serve the residents of Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties. That is what makes us stand out,” she said. “We have an affordable program and an excellent reputation within the communit6y. We have had 1000s of graduates, so you cannot go into any hospital or medical center in the area without running into someone who has been a student here.”
Although the nursing program’s accreditation is good for eight years, staff must still complete an annual report for monitoring purposes. This report includes enrollment and graduation numbers, faculty numbers and credentials, complaints against the program, substantive change information, job placement rates and licensure and certification examination pass rates.
For more information on the Department of Allied Health and Nursing and the nursing program, visit the KCKCC website at www.kckcc.edu and select “Academics.” Information is also available by calling 913-288-7626.
– Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor for Kansas City Kansas Community College.