April 20, 2009
Mississippi University for Women is one of 10 Mississippi nursing schools to meet all standards for accreditation last year, but half of the state''s nursing programs were not as lucky. A recent report from the state College Board of Mississippi shows that half of Mississippi''s universities and colleges that offer nursing programs did not meet all of the state''s standards last year.
"We have an outstanding and dedicated faculty who work very closely with our students," said MUW Nursing School Dean Dr. Shelia Adams. "They stay up on the accreditation standards and work hard to meet those. We''ve always had quality programs and very smart students."
Eleven schools had to implement program improvement plans following changes on the national standardized nursing exam and increased demands from the College Board.
Failure to make the needed improvements could eventually lead to loss of accreditation.
However, Adams said the failure of many of those schools to meet accreditation does not mean they have bad programs. Rather, a couple changes in this year''s accreditation standards caught some of the schools off guard.
"Now you have to have a pass rate which meets 95 percent of the national average, and the student retention standard is much higher," she said. "They are still good solid programs and this doesn''t really reflect the overall quality of nursing programs in the state. There are only one or two programs which have problems."
Most of the schools have as few as one or two standards that were not met.
Coahoma Community College in North Mississippi was the only school to receive a warning on its nursing program''s state accreditation, according to the report.
Martha Catlette, director of Nursing Education for the state College Board, said CCC failed to meet 10 of the state''s 13 annual accreditation standards but the school is working to remedy the problems.