BERLIN — White Mountains Community College has earned national accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing for its Associate of Science in Nursing program, which prepares students for positions as Registered Nurses.
ACEN accreditation is the leading national authority in ensuring that nursing programs meet high-quality, rigorous standards of teaching and learning outcomes.
This news for WMCC comes on the heels of its 2019 graduating class achieving a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensing exam, which controls entry into the profession as registered nurses.
Since 2014, WMCC’s nursing program graduates have performed well above state and national averages on this exam.
“We worked very hard to ensure we meet the highest of standards of national nursing accreditation requirements and are thrilled to have received confirmation that our program satisfies this rigorous review,” said Emily MacDonald, MS, RN, professor and coordinator of the nursing program at WMCC. “The accreditation demonstrates the quality of our curriculum and confirms that our students are receiving a comprehensive, robust, evidence-based and future-focused education that will prepare them for excellence in the practice of nursing as they graduate from WMCC and go out into our hospitals and other community health-care organizations as nurses.”
According to the New Hampshire Nurses Association, there is a current shortage of about 2,000 health-care professionals in the state. Additionally, the data shows that the increase of vacancies for nurses has increased by more than 20 percent over the past two years, exacerbating the shortage and putting patients at risk due to the lack of access to care. Programs like WMCC’s associate of science in nursing aims to fill this gap by preparing the next generation of nurses with the skills needed to quickly enter the field.
The accreditation application process is complex and lengthy. It includes preparing a comprehensive self-study report, hosting a site visit by a team from ACEN, interviews and the review of lengthy documentation, data and policies. The entire process took two years to complete.
WMCC’s associate of science in nursing program is already approved by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing and has a history of preparing industry-ready healthcare professionals. Students who earn the associate degree in nursing have immediate career opportunities as registered nurses, and many also continue their education in bachelor of science programs.