Officials with Doña Ana Community College (DACC) announced Thursday the continuing national accreditation of its Nursing Program from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
The Nursing Program began the ACEN continuing accreditation process by submitting the program’s Self Study Report (SSR) in January 2020, and then hosting the ACEN site visit team in March 2020 where the initial recommendation for continuing accreditation for eight years was given.
On June 2nd, the Evaluation Review Panel (ERP) confirmed the ACEN site visit team recommendation for continuing accreditation to the ACEN Board of Commissions (BOC). Finally, in September the BOC upheld the recommendation by the ERP for continuing accreditation.
“Our students are very well prepared to provide quality nursing services to communities in need. Meeting accreditation standards ensures our nursing graduates are equipped to meet the challenges of the profession,” Dr. Cynthia Olivas, DACC Nursing Program Director.
According to ACEN, the accreditation process improves the quality of education that nursing schools provide. It ensures that courses have the right content, instructors are using appropriate teaching methods, and schools are meeting the needs of nursing students. The accreditation process also helps keep nursing school curricula up-to-date with current professional standards.
The Nursing Program’s accreditation was made possible thanks to the support of the DACC community, community partnerships, and nursing faculty and students.
“Accreditation works to encourage faculty engagement with the curriculum through a continuous improvement process, so the program is regularly evaluated and improved as needed. Students benefit because we have developed a quality, up-to-date program that provides students with the education they need to succeed. Our community members also benefit because they can be confident that we graduate nurses who will provide safe, quality care to them and their loved ones,” said Dr. Tara Roof, DACC Nursing Clinical Coordinator.
New Mexico has 31 of 33 counties reporting a nursing shortage, and Doña Ana County is included in the 31 counties (New Mexico Health Care Workforce Committee Report, 2019).
In a study published in the April 2010 issue of Health Services Research, Dr. Linda Aiken and colleagues found that lower patient-nurse ratios in hospital units had lower patient mortality rates. The study also finds that improving the nurse to community ratios improved community health promotion and helped patients avoid admissions to hospitals for acute exacerbations, and medical and surgical units were associated with significantly lower patient mortality rates.
The DACC Nursing Program is proud to continue to meet the critical need of the community and state by providing quality education services to prepare entry level nurses to the nursing profession.