When looking for a nursing program, it's important to make sure the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency. Not only will this make sure that the program will teach you everything you need to know to be a good nurse, but will make sure that your license will be accepted by a future employer. There are two major nursing organizations that accredit programs: the NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission) and the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education). Though both deal directly with accrediting nursing programs, there is a distinct difference between NLNAC and CCNE accreditation.
What is the NLNAC Accreditation?
The NLNAC, which stands for the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, is the organization within the National League for Nursing whose job is to accredit nursing programs. They use set standards to evaluate programs and grant accreditation.
The programs the NLNAC works with to accredit range from certificate or diploma programs, all the way through post-master's and clinical doctorate programs. Each level of accreditation has a specific set of criteria the NLNAC uses to evaluate it.
What is the CCNE Accreditation?
The CCNE, which stands for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, is an organization that stands apart from other organizations. Unlike the NLNAC, the CCNE's sole responsibility is the accreditation of nursing programs.
The CCNE focuses on nursing programs that offer either the BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or MSN (Master's of Science in Nursing).
How are NLNAC and CCNE Accreditations Different?
Though the NLNAC and the CCNE seem very similar, there are distinct differences which can be seen in the differences between NLNAC and CCNE accredited programs.
For example, the CCNE focuses on nursing standards from a healthcare perspective. They monitor changes in the industry, and change their standards to reflect those changes. The CCNE leaves the responsibility to the nursing program to make sure they can meet CCNE accreditation. The NLNAC, on the other hand, takes the student perspective into consideration, as well. It provides a variety of student assistant programs, including financial aid programs.
Is NLNAC or CCNE Accreditations better?
It's hard to say whether NLNAC or CCNE accreditation is “better” since each provides something different, but valuable, to nursing programs. So while it's important that you find a nursing program that is either NLNAC or CCNE accredited, you may want to look at the specifics of the accreditation process of each organization to decide if one fits you better than the other. It's just as important to find the perfect school for you as it is to find the perfect accreditation. After all, the path you choose will be the one that shapes you into a nurse for the rest of your career.