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ULM nursing receives prestigious accreditation for MSN programs

Published June 8, 2018

The Master of Science in Nursing program at Kitty DeGree School of Nursing at the University of Louisiana Monroe has received accreditation through 2023 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

CCNE accreditation representatives visited the nursing school in October 2017. They reviewed the Clinical Nurse Leader Track and the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Track of the MSN (https://www.ulm.edu/nursing/msn.html) program. Since October, the Family Nurse Practitioner Track has been implemented.
“Accreditation from CCNE is a validation of the work put in to create these new programs,” said Wendy Bailes, Ph.D., RN, Interim Director of Kitty DeGree School of Nursing. “It demonstrates the consistent success the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing is known for in meeting the high standards put out by our accrediting bodies. We are excited about this accomplishment and feel confident that we will be just as successful when they return in 2020 for the entire school accreditation.”
The MSN program began in Summer 2016 with the Gerontological Clinical Nurse Leader program. This program prepares graduates to supervise, manage and provide for a population of patients, generally in acute care. These graduates are also capable of serving in capacities of higher administration positions in acute care agencies.  
In Summer 2017 the MSN program implemented the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program. Graduates are qualified to take a national certification examination in their specialty area and have an advanced practice nursing license. AGPCNPs provide primary health services to patients from age 13 through the geriatric years.
The Family Nurse Practitioner program started in Summer 2018 with 40 students enrolling. The primary difference in the two nurse practitioner programs is that the Family Nurse Practitioner can also provide primary health care needs of patients from infancy through to death. 
“None of this would be possible without key players in the last 25 years who saw the vision and worked tirelessly to see it come to fruition,” said Bailes. “Those key players are Jan Corder Pyznar, Florencetta Gibson, Emily Doughty and our current Associate Director of the Graduate Programs, Rhonda Hensley.”
Henley agreed that the efforts of many resulted in the accreditation.
“This accomplishment is not the effort of any one person. Many players worked diligently together to help this moment become a reality, from dedicated faculty, enthusiastic students, strong nursing school leadership, and university administration support. This is a proud School of Nursing and Warhawk moment,” Henley said. 
“ULM now offers three programs of study for those pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing,” Henley continued. “Having this program accreditation is essential to the program’s ability to attract qualified students and for them to be able to apply for their individual national certification exams upon completion of their program of study. The MSN program is proud to receive this program approval status, allowing this program to stand firmly on the solid foundation in nursing that is begun in our BSN program of study which has long been accredited by CCNE.”
About CCNE
Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing, http://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE .

About the University of Louisiana Monroe

The University of Louisiana Monroe serves north and northeast Louisiana as part of the nine-member University of Louisiana System. Founded in 1931 as a junior college, ULM is the leader in healthcare curriculums in north Louisiana and has one of only two public pharmacy schools in the state. ULM is a Carnegie classified R3 Doctoral University and a U.S. News & World Reports Best National University (both in 2017 and 2018).  The Warhawk mascot honors regional hero Gen. Claire Lee Chennault and the Flying Tigers of World War II. The Flying Tigers flew P-40 aircraft known as Warhawks. Situated on both sides of scenic Bayou DeSiard, ULM has three colleges, Arts, Education and Sciences, Business and Social Sciences and Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences, each providing diverse offerings of majors, courses of study and graduate programs. Nationally recognized online learning is offered through ULM Online. For more information about ULM, please visit ulm.edu .