The Associate in Science Degree in nursing Program at SFSC hosted a successful site visit by three Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) nursing program evaluators, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, serving as the second step of its four-step accreditation process.

ACEN is the leading authority in nursing accreditation, and its goal is to strengthen the quality of nursing education, in all types of nursing programs. ACEN accredits certificate-, diploma- or degree-granting programs in secondary, postsecondary and hospital-based organizations. 

“Accreditation is a comprehensive process that encompasses every aspect of an educational program,” said Dr. Michele Heston, dean of health sciences at SFSC. “From the curriculum, to program outcomes, to graduate and employer satisfaction, the process engages the entire program, college and community in its review. A debt of gratitude is extended to our students, faculty, SFSC colleagues, community partners, and alumni for their collaborative spirit and unparalleled support. The ACEN program evaluators commented that it was ‘refreshing to know that there are programs like yours out there, that are caring not only for your students but for your entire community.’”  

The SFSC program is seeking to continue its accreditation, having earned initial accreditation of the Associate in Science program in 2013. On Feb. 1, the program evaluators’ exit interview with the nursing education department and senior administrative team was positive. The evaluators cited full compliance with all Standards and Criteria. Several highlights of the exit interview included the following comments by the evaluators:

  • “Your community values and appreciates the work that you do. It was evident from all the meetings conducted throughout our visit that your caring influence reaches far beyond the classroom and is felt by this college and the community.”
  • “It is refreshing to know that there is a two-year RN program in this community that is not only doing excellent work, but is doing stellar work.”
  • “Your graduates articulate The Seven C’s of Caring upon which your curriculum is based. They feel it has allowed them to flourish in caring for the community.”

“Our department has a deep appreciation of the accreditation process and its role in the facilitation of continuous quality improvement,” said Mary VonMerveldt, director of nursing education at SFSC. “We are pleased with the conclusion of a productive ACEN peer evaluator visit and would like to offer our sincerest gratitude to all who assisted in the evaluation process. It is with great pride and humility that we serve as members of the South Florida State College family and local community.”

An accreditation decision by the Board of Commissioners is expected in July following the June Evaluation Review Committee meeting. For more information about the accreditation process or the nursing programs at SFSC, contact the Nursing Department at 863-784-7118.

About the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

ACEN supports the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public by the functions of accreditation. Accreditation is a voluntary, peer-review, 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.