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Nursing Programs Among Best in Nation

Mount Saint Mary’s University nursing department was once again nationally recognized for its extraordinary programs

March 6, 2020

Nursing students working in our Simulation Lab
Nursing students working in our Simulation Lab

Mount Saint Mary’s University nursing department was once again nationally recognized for its extraordinary programs when it received reaccreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in October 2019.   

“Accreditation by the CCNE is the gold standard for nursing programs, ensuring quality and integrity in our nursing programs,” says Leah FitzGerald, PhD, FNP-BC, dean of nursing and the Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair of Nursing. “Department leadership, faculty, staff and nursing students all contributed to the effort for CCNE accreditation, and I thank them for their continued commitment to Mount nursing excellence.”

CCNE accreditation is a nongovernmental peer review process that holds to national standards established for nursing programs across the U.S. Four Mount nursing programs received a 10-year accreditation: the traditional bachelor’s of nursing program (TBSN), accelerated BSN (ABSN), registered nurse to BSN (RN-BSN), and the post-graduate APRN certificate program. The Mount’s master’s of science in nursing (MSN) received a five-year accreditation.

The road to accreditation was not easy. The rigorous process included submission of a lengthy comprehensive self-study, a three day site visit by the accrediting team, and a thorough review of the BSN, ABSN, RN-BSN and MSN curriculum and processes.

Key to success was showing a direct connection between the nursing department’s philosophy and that of the University. One strength of the Mount’s nursing program is its grounding in the spirit of service of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The program’s mission echoes this philosophy: nursing is a service to humanity.

Also, central to the MSMU nursing curriculum is the Roy Adaptation Model, created in 1961 by MSMU graduate, nursing theorist, former nursing chair, and current part-time faculty member Sister Callista Roy, CSJ. The Roy Adaptation Model sees a person as an interconnected bio-psycho-social-spiritual being who strives to maintain balance between all facets, even during times of stress. MSMU nurses are well versed in this model and use it as a tool as they seek to restore patients to optimal health. It’s part of what makes Mount nurses so highly sought after.

This national recognition comes the same year the Mount is celebrating its 70th anniversary as the first baccalaureate nursing program in the state of California, established in 1949 by founding chair Sister Rebecca Doan, CSJ.

With renewed accreditation behind it, the Department of Nursing maintains its place among nursing leaders in the nation.

“CCNE accreditation means the university is poised to help in the national effort to address the critical shortage of nurses, nursing faculty, and leaders locally and in the United States,” says FitzGerald. “Our programs prepare graduates to become clinical nurse leaders, nurse educators, and advocates in public policy and health care reform.”