Four-year bachelors degree in nursing earns full accreditation from Commission on Collegiate Nursing

VERMILLION, S.D. -- 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 their 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.

“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).

For more information about the Department of Nursing, which is part of USD’s School of Health Sciences, please visit the department’s Web site at www.usd.edu/nursing or call (605) 677-5006.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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