Southeast's nursing program back to full accreditation status

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Due to low test scores, the baccalaureate nursing degree program at Southeast Missouri State University lost its full accreditation by the Missouri Board of Nursing in 2005. Last month, the program regained full accreditation status.

The state requires an 80 percent passage rate on the NCLEX, the National Council Licensure Examination. During the 2004-2005 school year, the university's passing rate was 66.7 percent, and the program became conditionally approved.

A representative from the Missouri State Board of Nursing said the designation has no impact on students in terms of finding jobs or their graduation status; it is a warning for schools to improve their test scores.

In 2005-2006, the NCLEX passing rate increased to 77.8 percent, and during the 2006-2007 school year 85.7 percent of students passed, according to a representative from the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

Dr. Gloria Green, the director of undergraduate studies in Southeast's nursing department, said two semesters of exam review and preparation classes were added and requirements for clinical experience tightened. Students must now clock 120 hours each semester their senior year.

Green said students were not directly notified of the change in accreditation status, saying they could look it up online if desired. They were notified of the graduation requirement changes.

When a student did question the program's accreditation on Southeast's Rumor Mill, the response was, "This rumor has been circulating over the past couple of weeks, but it is entirely false."

The Rumor Mill is a Web site where the university publicly responds to submitted questions.

The response continued, "Southeast's bachelor's degree program and its master's degree program in nursing are both fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Both programs also are approved by the Missouri Board of Nursing."

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education last reviewed the baccalaureate degree program in 2001 and accredited the program through 2012. The commission works in conjunction with state boards.

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