South Dakotan Health Magazine Fall 2013 - page 10

Health Sciences Briefs
| South Dakotan HEALTH
The University of South Dakota Department of Nursing has
received formal notification from the Commission on Collegiate
Nursing Education (CCNE) that the Baccalaureate in Nursing
(B.S.N.) program at USD is accredited. USD has offered the R.N.-
B.S.N. track since 2011 and will begin its first cohort of students
in the four-year B.S.N. nursing major in Vermillion and Sioux
Falls this fall with the Rapid City campus following in fall 2014.
The baccalaureate program earned accreditation through June 30,
2018, which is the longest time period for an initial accreditation.
Carla Dieter, Ed.D, R.N., F.N.P.-
B.C., professor and chair of USD Nursing,
noted that the accreditation couldn’t
come at a better time as more students
are seeking opportunities for careers in
one of the world’s largest and fastest
growing occupations, and the demand for
baccalaureate nurses is at an all-time high
and will continue to increase. The announcement was made
by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education Board
of Commissioners in April following an on-site evaluation in
September 2012.
Four-Year Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Earns Full Accreditation from
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
“Our USD Nursing Department is responding to the need
for increased access to advanced degrees in nursing to ensure that
students are well-educated and prepared for increasingly complex
health care needs throughout the state and region,” stated
Dieter. “By offering the B.S.N., we are providing a significant
pathway for students to obtain education in nursing and meet
the professional needs of workers looking to make a difference in
health care.”
The baccalaureate degree in nursing consists of 120 credits
that include theory, laboratory and clinical learning experiences.
Students have an opportunity to complete general education
requirements and prerequisites the first two years of the program
and nursing courses the final two years. Incoming freshman for
the fall 2012 semester were able to declare the four-year B.S.N.
as their degree thanks to authorization in the fall of 2011 by the
South Dakota Board of Regents.
USD Nursing will maintain accreditation for the Associate
Degree Nursing programming through the Accreditation
Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly known
as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission
(NLNAC). •
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education
for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted
Accreditation-Continued to the University of South Dakota
Physician Assistant Program. Accreditation-Continued is
an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited
program is in compliance with the ARC-PA standards.
Accreditation remains in effect until the program
closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until
accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the
standards. The approximate date for the next validation
review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2020.
The review date is contingent upon continued compliance
with the standards and ARC-PA policy.
“We are extremely proud of the students, faculty and
staff of the Physician Assistant Studies Program for their
commitment to excellence in health care for the people of
South Dakota,” said Michael Lawler, Ph.D., M.S.W., dean of
USD’s School of Health Sciences.
Physician Assistant Studies Program Granted Continued Accreditation
ARC-PA, the organization that defines standards for PA
education and evaluates PA educational programs within the
territorial United States, noted the program’s “commitment
and dedication to quality PA education” in its accreditation
notification letter.
This news arrives on the heels of a strong year for USD’s
Physician Assistant program, which was approved for a class
size expansion (from 20 students to 25)
by the South Dakota Board of Regents in
“The outlook for PAs in South
Dakota is positive,” said Wade Nilson,
M.P.A.S, P.A.-C., chair of USD’s
Physician Assistant Program. “As a nation
and state we are faced with a primary care
shortage. PA-physician teams are ideally suited to provide
comprehensive, patient-centered, coordinated, accessible and
ongoing care.” •
Accreditation News
Carla Dieter
Wade Nilson
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