FLORENCE, S.C. --The baccalaureate degree nursing program at Francis Marion University has received its initial accreditation from the National League for Nursing.
The notification came this week in a letter from Patricia R. Forni, chair of the NLN accrediting board of commissioners. The accreditation is in effect through spring 2011.
“This is another indication of the superb job that department chair Sylvia Lufkin and the nursing faculty have done in putting together this program over the last two years,” said FMU President Fred Carter. “Obtaining NLN accreditation in such a short period is a remarkable accomplishment. It means that our nursing program meets high standards and is respected nationally.”
The FMU nursing program has already received all state approvals, including the State Board of Nursing.
The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting body for all types of nursing education programs.
In the notification letter, Forni thanked Lufkin and her colleagues “for your commitment to quality nursing education.” She continued, “By choosing to have accreditation by NLNAC, your nursing program demonstrates a continued interest in having the program measured against the highest national standards of quality in nursing education.”
Accreditation is a voluntary, self-regulatory process by which non-governmental associations recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality.
Accreditation also assists in the further improvement of the institutions or programs as related to resources invested, processes followed, and results achieved. The monitoring of certificate, diploma, and degree offerings is tied closely to state examination and licensing rules, and to the oversight of preparation for work in the profession.
The commission has authority and accountability for carrying out the responsibilities inherent in the application of standards and criteria, accreditation processes, and the affairs, management, policy making, and general administration of the NLNAC.
The Medical University of South Carolina began operating a satellite nursing program at Francis Marion in 1982. Carter and MUSC President Raymond S. Greenberg agreed in 2004 to transfer control of the program to FMU. Lufkin was hired that year to head FMU’s new Department of Nursing, and she has led the effort to hire faculty, develop the curriculum and library resources, recruit students and obtain all necessary state approvals.
The Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation of Florence made a $5.5 million donation toward building a $7.6 million, 30,000-plus square foot building to house FMU’s stand-alone baccalaureate nursing program. Located just north of the campus pond and adjacent to the McNair Science Building, the two-story building contains all classrooms, patient care labs and support spaces needed for an expanded nursing program at FMU. Named after Dr. Frank B. Lee, the building will be dedicated at 6 p.m. Aug. 15.
Forty-eight new nursing majors will begin classes Aug. 23, a 50 percent increase from a year ago.
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