ORANGEBURG, S.C. (courtesy claflin.edu) — Claflin University announced June 20 that its RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has received accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Board of Commissioners retroactive from October 1, 2018 until June 30, 2024. CCNE Accreditation ensures that the nursing program consistently demonstrates quality in mission and governance, institutional commitment and resources, and curriculum and teaching-learning practices. It also establishes that the program is effective in assessment and achievement of program outcomes. These are the hallmark attributes of a high-quality nursing program.
The Board determined that our RN to BSN program met all four accreditation standards and there were no compliance concerns with respect to the key elements for accreditation,” said Dr. Shannon Smith, director of the Nursing Department at Claflin. “This is great news for Claflin, the campus community and the state of South Carolina. It also supports the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that healthcare organizations increase their BSN nursing staff to 80 percent by the year 2020.”
Claflin launched the RN to BSN program in August 2016. A partnership with Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and The Regional Medical Center provides a pipeline for students to earn their bachelor’s degree at Claflin in less than 18 months. Since the program’s inception, more than 50 graduates have completed the 100 percent online program and have earned the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. Claflin is the only institution of higher education between Columbia and Charleston, S.C., and the only historically black college/university in South Carolina that offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
“I congratulate Dr. Smith and Team Claflin on their steadfast commitment to achieving accreditation for the nursing program and their excellent presentation to the CCNE committee,” Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale said. “This important national accreditation places Claflin at the forefront of developing and sustaining programs that expand career options for our students and improve the quality of life for residents in our local communities.”
“The program’s accreditation also is monumental for students who wish to pursue a master’s degree in nursing because it helps that they graduated from an accredited program,” Smith said. “Very few graduate programs accept students who did not earn a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university. The CCNE Board of Commissioners were very impressed with Claflin’s nursing program including the outcomes and job placement of our students. Their assessment determined that we are providing the appropriate resources and teaching environment that will contribute to producing graduates who will enhance nursing and the delivery of healthcare in Orangeburg and neighboring counties.”
Smith’s combined experiences in nursing and higher education spans more than 30 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Adult Health Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of South Carolina. She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health, the American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses in Gastroenterology Nursing, and the National League for Nursing as a Certified Nurse Educator. She also completed training in online teaching through the University of Phoenix and attained Advanced Online Teaching Certification through the Online Learning Consortium (formerly SLOAN-C).
“We are very proud of what we have achieved in a very short period,” Smith said. “A master’s in nursing program could be next. We are confident we will achieve our goal of preparing our graduates who will become visionary leaders in nursing and other areas of the healthcare industry.”