School of Nursing Earns Accreditation

By Chris Shoemaker | December 11, 2013 | RSS

School of Nursing Earns Accreditation
Bluefield College’s School of Nursing has received a nationally coveted stamp of approval. Following a nearly yearlong process of evaluation, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has granted the school full accreditation for its RN-to-BSN program.



Dr. Carolyn Lewis, dean of the School of Nursing


Already accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) shortly after announcing the launch of its new baccalaureate degree program in nursing in the fall of 2010, the BC School of Nursing spent months demonstrating to the CCNE the validity and quality of its RN-to-BSN program before hosting an on-site evaluation team earlier this fall. The result of the study: approved accreditation by the CCNE’s Board of Commissioners during its most recent fall meeting.


“This is the best possible outcome a nursing program can receive,” said Dr. Carolyn Lewis, dean of the School of Nursing, who spearheaded the accreditation process. “This accreditation assures current and prospective students that we have a nationally endorsed program of study.”


Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation organization, the CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public’s health by ensuring the quality and integrity of nursing education. The commission serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices.


“This accreditation validates to the student, faculty and community the quality of our RN-to-BSN program,” said Dr. Lewis, “and further validates that we have met rigorous national standards related to our program’s mission, goals and expected outcomes.”


As part of the process of earning accreditation with the CCNE, Bluefield College’s School of Nursing completed a self-study of its RN-to-BSN program, focusing on key standards of quality and effectiveness, including Mission and Governance; Institutional Commitment and Resources; Curriculum; Teaching and Learning Practices; and Aggregate Student and Faculty Outcomes.


“I believe our program is academically sound, and I know this accreditation achievement measures key elements of the quality and integrity of the program,” said Dr. Lewis. “Receiving CCNE full accreditation assures students, parents and the public that the Bluefield College School of Nursing adheres to high quality standards based on successful and effective educational practices.”


As with all CCNE-approved programs, the college will be required to submit a continuous improvement progress report at the mid-point of its five-year accreditation term to demonstrate continued growth and development of the nursing program. The CCNE accreditation will last until December 2018.


Bluefield College announced the creation of its new nursing program in the fall of 2010 to meet a critical need in southwest Virginia for baccalaureate nursing education. Soon after, the college developed partnerships with regional community colleges to make the nursingprogram more accessible to RNs and associate degree graduates in southwest Virginia.


In 2011, BC hired Dr. Lewis, a Tazewell, Virginia, native and a nurse with more than 20 years of experience in health care, to direct the RN-to-BSN degree. Dr. Lewis quickly earned accreditation for the program with SACS and developed a Guaranteed Admission Agreement with the Virginia Community College System to draw students and nurses statewideinto the BC School of Nursing, before turning her attention to accreditation with the CCNE.


Delivered primarily online, the RN-to-BSN program is a convenient, accelerated degree-completion curriculumdesigned to allow working adults the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in as little as 13 months.


For more information about Bluefield College’s School of Nursing and its accreditation with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791), visit the BC web site at or the CCNE web site at



Media Contact

Chris Shoemaker, Assistant Professor, Communication