UAMS College of Nursing Receives Maximum Accreditation for Four Programs

By Lee Hogan

Three programs received 10-year accreditations — Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing and the Post-Master’s Advanced Practice Certificate. The Doctor of Nursing Practice, which began in 2013, received a five-year initial accreditation, the maximal length awarded to new programs.

The college is also home to the state’s only Ph.D. program in nursing, however, the commission does not provide accreditation for Ph.D. programs.

“I’m extremely proud of our faculty and students,” said Patricia A. Cowan, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the College of Nursing. “It speaks strongly to our exemplary programs and the commitment we have from university administration and the community.”

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education serves higher education institutions and acute care hospitals throughout the United States for the purpose of ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing. It is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency.

(From left to right) Anita Mitchell, Ph.D., R.N., Claudia Barone, Ed.D., R.N., Pao-Feng Tsai, Ph.D., R.N., and Donna Middaugh, Ph.D., R.N.

(From left to right) Anita Mitchell, Ph.D., R.N., Claudia Barone, Ed.D., R.N., Pao-Feng Tsai, Ph.D., R.N., and Donna Middaugh, Ph.D., R.N.

“While the accreditation is voluntary, there is an expectation that nursing schools will obtain the credential,” said Cowan. “Further, this accreditation process reviews the quality of a program and exemplifies those with merit.”

The accreditation is a non-governmental, peer-review process that operates in agreement with nationally recognized standards established for the accreditation practice throughout the country. The commission’s standards for accreditation include reviews of the program’s mission and governance, institutional commitment and resources, curriculum and teaching-learning practices, and assessment and achievement of program outcomes.

Each institution is required to submit a report to the commission, which addresses each standard. The process includes an on-site visit over multiple days that involves meetings with students and institutional and external constituents. The commission visitors observe classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences of students and review documents supporting the overall quality of the programs, including student evaluations of courses, clinicals and faculty, as well as student graduation, licensure and certification pass rates.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state's Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Childrens Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.