NLN Accredited Nursing Schools are those schools with nursing programs that has been thoroughly assessed by, and reach the standards of, the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC). For over 100 years, ever since 1893, the NLN has been committed to excellence, and nursing faculty in colleges and universities and others who provide nursing education, health care agencies, and even members of the public, continue to trust and prefer the NLN solely because of the high standards it continues to uphold. The National League for Nursing, NLN, is the first nursing organization in the United States of America.
Apart from providing accreditation for programs through the NLNAC, such as diplomas, and associates, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees, the NLN also offer networking opportunities, research grants, and public policy initiatives. Headquartered in New York, the NLN continue to deliver improved, enhanced, and expanded services to its members.
With such high standards and over a century of pure quality, an NLN accredited nursing school will certainly be a superior institution. The assurance is given that the schools and also the programs meet and/or surpass standards that are considered the norm for the provision of nursing education. Schools that are just being considered for accreditation are considered to be candidates, however, the fact that they receive candidacy from the NLN, is not a guarantee that they will be accredited; this is the first step, and they might come up short of fulfilling the requirements.
Furthermore, NLN Accredited Nursing Schools would have faculty with proper qualifications, curriculum that is optimal for the preparation of a well-rounded, fully-educated nurse practitioner, and a large cohort of graduates that are successful in the licensure exams.
NLN Accredited Nursing Schools Given Students Extra Career Guidance For Success In A Competitive Medical Field And Job Market
In addition, these schools benefit from accreditation in that they can guide students to make proper education and job choices, increase their ability to be successful in recruitment, the programs offered are improved due to self-evaluation, future employers of graduates are confident of the abilities and knowledge their graduates possess, their students can apply for financial assistance from government funding and are more likely to be employed by the government upon graduating. For those considering continuing education, they will more likely end up doing less credits, thus paying less tuition, if they have a diploma or lower-level degree from an accredited school.
In light of all that is possible with acquiring nursing education from NLN Accredited Nursing Schools, it is imperative for anyone considering such a career to ensure a school of interest is accredited, prior to enrolling in any of its programs. A hospital or health care agency, will more likely decide to choose a graduate from an accredited program over one from a non-accredited program.
Recruitment becomes even more stringent when considering a job within the government. However, nurse practitioners with plenty on-the-job experience, who studied many years ago in a non-accredited school, are not usually affected.
There are approximately over 1,200 nursing education programs that are accredited by the NLNAC. Of that number, only a few doctoral nursing programs are accredited. The rest is distributed among diplomas, associate degrees, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees.
Taking a closer look at what NLN accredited schools offer, here is a description of each program:
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) – a two or sometimes three year course, which has less general education requirements, core courses and clinical hours than a BSN program, and which prepares graduates for the NCLEX-RN;
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which is either a generic degree or one that is geared towards upgrading students that are already Licensed Practical Nurses or RNs with a diploma. This degree also prepares the students to become instructors of nursing courses as well as being nurse practitioners. The difference between an ADN and BSN is that students in the ADN program usually do not do classes in leadership/management, community/public health, and research, and there are more clinical hours to fulfill. In the work world, the pay scale is relatively the same for a nurse practitioner with an ADN as it is for one with a BSN;
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can only be pursued by someone who already holds a bachelor’s degree and is a registered nurse, and it prepares nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists to provide a wide range of services. It is an entry-level degree for persons who want to become nurse educators and managers, and they can decide to take a specialty course such as neonatal, pediatric or psychiatric nursing;
- Ph.D. in Nursing prepares the candidate to carry out research to enhance the theoretical foundation of nursing. Some institutions also offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree that is a professional-terminal degree that is practice-oriented. Persons holding either degree, would posses an undergraduate degree, years of experience as a registered nurse, and an additional four years of advanced nursing practice education.
- Every entry-level nurse practitioner has to sit the NCLEX in order to be licensed.
Within the scope of nursing, there are several specialty areas. In the United States alone, there are over fifty (50) specialties. These include Community Health nursing, Cardiac nursing, Ambulatory Care, Forensic nursing, Pediatric nursing, Midwifery, Medical Case Management, Anesthesiology, among others. Apart from nurses with MSNs and Ph.D. who usually choose a specific field to concentrate on while studying, RNs in specialty areas usually receive certification after doing short courses offered by hospitals, certifying boards or professional organizations.
With a degree from NLN Accredited Nursing Schools, the job possibilities are endless. Registered nurses can work in hospitals, health care facilities, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, and schools.
With technology taking over the world and directly changing how people learn, many NLN Accredited Nursing Schools have begun to offer some nursing degrees online. These are geared towards people who have a job but want to upgrade, persons like stay-at-home moms who want to get a career but have limited time available to sit in a class, older persons who would not relish in the idea of sitting with students who are sometimes a generation younger than they are, and just about anyone who prefer to study in the comfort of their own homes or anywhere they have access to the internet, at any time of the day or night that is suitable for them. The most popular degrees offered online are LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, RN to MSN, and the Ph.D. in Nursing. It is usually a requirement that students who study online are either registered nurses or licensed practical nurses.
There Is A World Wide Shortage Of Nurse Graduates From NLN Accredited Nursing Schools
In an effort to stem the ever increasing problem of shortage of nurse educators and practitioners, NLN Accredited Nursing Schools have decided to make application for their online degrees more affordable. Methods such as recruitment strategies have been developed to specifically deal with this problem. Nurse educators are either retiring or are close to retirement age.
The years it takes for an educator to study, plus gain valuable experience in order to join a nursing faculty, cause the replacement of aging nurse educators to become a slow and agonizing process. While it is imperative that nursing educators have proper credentials and are the best at what they do, this necessity makes it even harder for NLN Accredited Nursing Schools to find faculty to replace retired ones or to fill new positions. Subsequently, when there are not enough teachers to train students, then there will also be less students graduating from that program.
NLN Accredited Nursing Schools Are Experiencing Longer Than Normal Waiting Lists
Currently, NLN Accredited Nursing Schools have very long waiting lists, with students interested in a career in nursing, but they are simply not enough nurse educators to train all of them. Offering the degrees online decreases these numbers and positively affects the shortage, as students are able to study without the direct aid of a teacher. Programs are easily accessed; books and sometimes software are provided to complement the information and knowledge usually imparted by mainly by a teacher in a classroom setting, and students can access these schools from just about anywhere in the world. There are plenty jobs available for nurses in the United States, therefore, offering these degrees online will certainly have a positive impact on the health care system.
The aim of NLN Accredited Nursing Schools is to supply the health care system with nurse practitioners that are properly trained, knowledgeable, and ready to provide quality care for the ill, injured and disabled; and nurse educators who are highly capable of passing on the wealth of knowledge and experience they possess to the next generation of nurses. Investing in a degree from one of the many NLN Accredited Nursing Schools will prove to be a life-enhancing step towards a better job, an increased and more stable salary, and a brighter future.