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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI’s College of Nursing earns five-year accreditation
Commission on College Nursing Education praises
‘high quality clinical, academic work’

College of Nursing

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 6, 2002 -- The University of Rhode Island’s College of Nursing has been granted accreditation through December 2006 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The maximum duration for accreditation for which the College is eligible is five years. The College met each standard set by the commission in the following categories: mission and governance; institutional commitment and resources; curriculum and teaching-learning practices; and student performance and faculty accomplishments.

In the curriculum and teaching learning component, the evaluation team said in its report "classroom visits, discussion with students, and review of course materials provided evidence of high quality clinical and academic work. Student-faculty interaction is excellent and supportive of the educational objectives.

"Both graduate and undergraduate students are in primary, secondary and tertiary clinical sites throughout the state as appropriate to the specific coursework," according to the report.

It states that professional standards guide decisions about course objectives, theoretical content and clinical placement of students. "At graduation, all students have mastered competencies that comprise the breadth of the essential elements."

URI ‘s College of Nursing is the first nursing program in the state to be evaluated by the commission.

Receiving accreditation is not new to URI; its undergraduate nursing program has been accredited since 1963 and its master’s nursing degree program has been accredited since 1980 by the National League for Nursing. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing accreditation agency is new.

"The commission’s vision statements are more reflective of where nursing standards need to be in the future, and many of their guidelines were already part of our philosophy," said Dayle Joseph, dean of the College of Nursing.

The commission is officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency. As an autonomous accrediting agency, it contributes to the improvement of the public’s health by ensuring the quality of baccalaureate and graduate education programs.

Among the other schools receiving accreditation were DePaul University, University of Michigan and the University of South Carolina.

URI’s College of Nursing began preparing for a comprehensive 75-page self-study in 1999. Rhode Island College and Duquesne University are seeking URI assistance because they want to learn from the University’s initial experience with the Commission as they prepare for their first reviews by the group.

A visiting team from the commission spent three days at the College, interviewing faculty, staff, students and alumni, and reviewing records. The team also visited clinical sites at Newport, Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s hospitals. In addition, team members visited several classes.

The visiting team gave high praise to the University’s commitment to nursing as it relates to health promotion and to the College’s faculty for integrating research and service into their teaching roles. The team pointed out that additional resources are needed for faculty positions, learning laboratories and improved technology.

In the area of professional preparation, the team reported that students, employers and agency representatives all noted that the graduates are well prepared for entry level positions. "It was particularly noted by agency representatives that the graduates are effective change agents and critical thinkers," the team said in its report.

On-site review of the graduate courses showed that the curriculum incorporated content and learning experiences consistent with the standards and guidelines for advanced nursing.

"This accreditation shows the College is functioning very effectively, and that we are responding to contemporary needs," the nursing dean said.

URI Assistant Professor of Nursing Carolyn Hames, who played a key role in the self-study said: "We received no negative marks."

URI’s College of Nursing, founded in 1945, enrolls 380 undergraduate students, 80 master’s degree students and 50 doctoral candidates. It is the only nursing program in the state to offer programs at all three levels. URI’s nurse-midwifery master’s program is the only one of its kind at a public university in New England. The master’s nurse-practitioner program prepares graduates to work in family practice/primary care, which includes performing health assessments, physical examinations, providing education, counseling and health promotion programs, as well as prescribing medications.

For Information: Dayle Joseph 401-874-2766, Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

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