Ouachita’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program receives national ACEN accreditation

By: Rachel Gaddis

Ouachita Baptist University

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) recently affirmed accreditation for Ouachita Baptist University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program in the Department of Nursing.

“Nursing accreditation is a stamp of excellence and a milestone in Ouachita’s nursing history,” said Dr. Brenda Trigg, director of nursing at Ouachita. “Our nursing students can expect to gain a sound foundation in nursing education and become leaders in the profession to ensure quality healthcare is provided to all individuals, groups and communities.”

ACEN is “the leading authority for nursing education accreditation,” according to its website, and sets the benchmark for nursing education excellence both nationally and internationally.

“Achieving ACEN accreditation validates the Ouachita Department of Nursing has clear and appropriate education outcomes and that the total nursing program is in compliance with established standards and criteria in the context of the Department of Nursing’s mission, as well as current and future practice,” Trigg said.

Schools of nursing must demonstrate evidence of successful mastery in six ACEN accreditation categories: administration, student resources, nursing faculty excellence, curriculum, program resources and program outcomes. The peer-review process, specifically, involves program assessment planning and evaluation by the Department of Nursing and staff team – with oversight by ACEN peer experts – to enhance quality improvement in nursing education and is ongoing after initial accreditation is obtained.

“Receiving ACEN accreditation endorses that current and future nursing students receive an exceptional nursing education grounded in evidence-based practice,” Trigg said. “In addition, students will be able to further their educational careers for graduate studies as they seek greater knowledge to improve patient outcomes.”

ACEN Board of Commissioners granted accreditation upon meeting in March 2021 following a review process that began when Ouachita launched its program in 2019. The effective date for Ouachita’s initial accreditation is Dec. 2, 2019, when the program first gained ACEN Candidacy.

Ouachita’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (BSN) was introduced in Fall 2019 as an innovative, RN-to-BSN dual enrollment completion program in partnership with Baptist Health College Little Rock. The Department of Nursing has since added a fully-online RN-to-BSN degree program option for students who already have a valid registered nurse license, and who seek to earn a BSN degree.

“Establishing a nursing program at Ouachita extends our traditional preparing of students for entry into health professions,” said Dr. Tim Knight, dean of the Patterson School of Natural Sciences. “It’s an area we should have been involved in years ago, and we’re excited about the future of this program!”

Ouachita’s Department of Nursing prepares students for the nation’s most trusted profession with curriculum and clinical experiences grounded in a love of God and love of learning. For more information about the Department of Nursing, contact Dr. Brenda Trigg at triggb@obu.edu or (870) 245-5384.

This article was written by Rachel Gaddis and was originally published at obu.edu.

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