May 12, 2004
Nursing Gets Accreditation
Creating a new curriculum for the Calvin College nursing program was an arduous task. But the hard work paid off this week with word that Calvin has earned a full five-year accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Calvin nursing department chairperson Cheryl Feenstra says that the accreditation is effective immediately. This means that the class of 2004 (the first Calvin-only nursing class) will graduate on May 22 from an accredited nursing program.
The need for a new Calvin curriculum came about when Calvin and Hope colleges decided to end the combined Hope-Calvin Nursing Program in favor of separate programs at each institution. The first class graduated from that combined program in 1984; the last class graduated in 2003. In between the program educated hundreds of nurses, many of whom are working in West Michigan.
At the core of the new Calvin program is this seemingly simple statement: "The Calvin College Department of Nursing, in sharing the mission of Calvin College, seeks to engage in professional nursing education that promotes lifelong Christian service within a caring and diverse educational community."
Calvin's Feenstra says that statement informs the entire nursing curriculum.
Feenstra notes that Calvin hosted a site visit from the CCNE last November and since has been eagerly awaiting the word from the CCNE Board of Commissioners about its status. The Commissioners met in late April and gave Calvin its stamp of approval at that time.
The CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency that "ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs in nursing." It is officially recognized by the US Department of Education as a national accreditation agency.