UHV School of Nursing re-accreditation shows faculty, curriculum excellence
After a rigorous review, the University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing has again achieved the highest levels of educational standards in the nursing profession.
The Board of Commissioners of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education recently voted to continue accreditation for the bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UHV in the UHV School of Nursing until Dec. 31, 2024.
“What this welcoming news says about the UHV baccalaureate and master’s programs is that we’ve met the highest level of quality set by this profession,” said Kathryn Tart, dean of the UHV School of Nursing. “If a patient is being treated by a nurse with a UHV degree, he can rest assured that his nurse received the highest quality of education available.”
Tart said being accredited is a big draw to prospective nursing students. If a student graduates from a professionally accredited program, it opens doors to jobs and access to advanced degrees.
“It is well worth the effort and rigor to earn this re-accreditation,” Tart said. “It allows us to write for grant and federal funding that is only available to accredited schools. It also brings prestige to the school and university.”
UHV first received national accreditation from the commission in October 2009. The school’s undergraduate and graduate degrees were accredited for five years at that time. The nursing school, which began in 2007, received the accreditation on its first attempt.
Tart said the re-accreditation process took about a year. Six months before the site visit, UHV sent the commission a 60-page self study. A team of peer reviewers visited UHV for three days in March to evaluate the school and see if the self study matched what they saw. The reviewers then wrote a report before the commission’s vote.
“This was something the faculty sought out,” Tart said. “They wanted to have accredited programs. It’s not something we had to do, but we wanted to put ourselves through the test to make sure we were meeting the standards for our profession.”
The accreditation comes out of the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is an autonomous accrediting agency contributing to the improvement of the public’s health. Tart said there are four standards the commission considered.
The first standard was mission and governance. It looks at whether the school met its mission, she said. The second one was institutional resources. The commission considers the administration, facilities, library, technology, budget and other resources, and how well the nursing program uses them. The third standard was curriculum.
“The commission evaluated whether we were meeting essentials of bachelor’s and master’s curriculum and whether we had appropriate faculty teaching those classes and the appropriate clinical facilities to support the education,” she said.
The fourth standard was evaluation of outcomes. This entails whether students are passing nursing exams and working in nursing. The UHV bachelor’s program had the highest National Council of State Boards of Nursing pass rate in 2014, at 94.45 percent, of any university in Victoria or the Greater Houston area. And according to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board figures, 86 percent of all UHV nursing alumni are working in the field.
“As the numbers indicate, the UHV School of Nursing is doing a fantastic job preparing nurses for their careers and giving them additional tools to help them succeed,” UHV Interim President Vic Morgan said. “While news of the school’s re-accreditation is not a surprise, it is something to celebrate. This achievement brings national recognition to quality nursing education available in Victoria and Greater Houston.”
The UHV School of Nursing will be transitioning to the University of Houston in fall 2015, pending approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The current faculty, programs, clinical rotations and all teaching locations will remain the same during the transition to UH.
Tart said the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is aware of the transition. She will have to fill out paperwork to alter the accreditation, and another site visit might be necessary.
“CCNE is going to work with us during the transition,” Tart said. “I have kept the commission aware of what’s happening, and it is supportive. The transition will not be an impediment to the school as far as CCNE is concerned.”
For more information on applying to the UHV School of Nursing, please visit www.uhv.edu/nursing or call 877-970-4848, ext. 4370.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.