NEW BERN – Craven Community College (Craven CC) Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) and Practical Nursing (PN) graduates are now eligible to work at the Navy Health Clinic Cherry Point after the college became nationally accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA) on Oct. 18. While Craven CC nursing students have been working in community hospitals and clinics since the program was approved by the State of North Carolina in 1974, the NLN CNA accreditation ensures all graduates are eligible to meet requirements at most federal installations, including military bases and the VA.

“This mark of excellence is the result of many years of very hard work by our Craven Community College team,” said Dr. Ray Staats, Craven CC president. “It reflects sustained quality teaching by our faculty, superb program management, and most importantly, outstanding learning results by our students.”

The NLN CNEA accreditation requires educational institutions to meet various standards relating to program outcomes, governance and resources, student and faculty culture, diversity, and curriculum evaluation. To ensure Craven CC is meeting these standards, the college completed a pre-accreditation self-survey in 2019 and underwent a pre-accreditation review. In 2022, the college submitted a more in-depth self-survey and had a two-day site visit which culminated in receiving full accreditation for both programs.

“I am so grateful for Craven’s strong nursing faculty team, because accreditation requires a program to willingly review itself with a fine-toothed comb,” said Dr. Alec Newton, Craven CC dean of Health Programs. “It took four years, but the team did it, and I am so proud of all their hard work.”

Some areas that improved during the accreditation process included the following:

  • Revised Clinical Performance Assessment tool to better track each student’s progression in their abilities
  • Increased the objective input opportunities for the advisory board with a questionnaire that supports better tracking of recommendations and overall improvements
  • Implemented a class representative model in each cohort for the students to have a shared voice in governance

“As an approved nursing program since 1974, our graduates are qualified to take the NCLEX exam for their license and work in public and private healthcare,” said Newton. “A driving force for getting the accreditation, though, was to better serve our military community on base. To work on base, a nurse has to graduate from an accredited nursing school. To do this previously, Craven Community College ADN graduates enrolled in a RN to BSN program at an accredited university, while working at a public or private healthcare facility. Going forward, we anticipate they won’t need this additional step.”

The NLN CNEA is the latest investment Craven CC has made in expanding its ADN program. The college’s strong partnership with CarolinaEast Medical Center has helped increase the number of graduating nursing students from 36 in 2020 to 59 in 2022.

“As a local healthcare provider and proud partner of Craven CC, we are so excited about our Community College’s accreditation,” said Jim Davis DNP, RN, NEA-BC Chief Nursing Officer, Vice President of Nursing, CarolinaEast Health System. “NLN CNEA accreditation is a public validation of what we already knew: the level of excellence of the nursing program at Craven Community College. Craven CC has been educating nurses with superior knowledge and skills for years, and this accreditation publicly validates that. Congratulations!”

New ADN cohorts start every Spring and Fall semester. The application period for the next cohort of Craven CC’s ADN students is now open through Feb. 28, 2023, with classes starting in Fall 2023. For more information on the college's nursing programs, visit cravencc.edu/nursing.

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