Misericordia Nursing Program Awarded 10-Year Accreditation
Cynthia Mailloux
MISERICORDIA UNIVERSITY NURSING STUDENTS who recently graduated from the Bachelor of Science degree program surpassed both the state and national averages for pass rates on the NCLEXRN exam for the third year in a row. The students take many of their classes in the state-of-the-art Erwine Nursing Lab and Classroom that features eight hospital beds and high-tech bedside technology, including health-care informatics.

The Misericordia University nursing program recently had its continuing accreditation extended for the maximum of 10 years to March 2023 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency that contributes to the improvement of public health. The commission ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing, according to CCNE (www.aacn.nche.edu).

“Program accreditation is one of the most important criteria that a college or university can achieve since it affirms that the university and the academic program are meeting or exceeding the established standards of excellence and quality,’’ said Cynthia Mailloux, Ph. D., R. N., C. N. E., associate professor and chair of the Department of Nursing at Misericordia University. “The nursing program provides quality nursing education to our students, which is consistent with the mission of the University.’’

Dr. Mailloux is a resident of Mountaintop and former member of the Crestwood School Board.

After an extensive self-study was submitted to CCNE by the Department of Nursing, representatives of the accrediting body conducted an on-campus site visit in March to assess the Misericordia University nursing program. Misericordia recently received notification that the nursing department was successful in meeting all four standards set by the commission.

Misericordia University features the oldest nursing program in the area and graduates more students in the health sciences than any other college or university in northeastern Pennsylvania. The University offers three undergraduate nursing programs: traditional, full-time nursing students; part-time accelerated evening program for adult students; and the RN-to-BSN Expressway Program. The undergraduate nursing programs are designed to meet the special educational and scheduling needs of adult and traditional students. They all lead to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

The graduate nursing programs are designed to meet the special needs of current BSN registered nurses who desire an advanced practice specialization as a family nurse practitioner. MU also offers a post-master’s certificate as a family nurse practitioner for nurses who already have a master’s degree. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education in health assessment, diagnosis and management of illnesses and injuries. Graduate programming leads to the Master of Science degree in nursing (MSN) and provides course work in a convenient part-time, one-day-a-week format.

Consistent with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report, Misericordia also has developed a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program that is currently under internal review. Administrators expect to seek approval from the Board of Trustees in February for a potential launch in the fall of 2014.

Undergraduate and graduate nursing students have also been successful in passing their national licensure examinations. Most recently, baccalaureate degree nursing students who graduated from the Bachelor of Science degree program during the past year achieved a pass rate that was 16 percentage points higher than the national average for pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).