Clinical education and professional development providers, including Caritas College, should seek accreditation and affiliation with various nursing and education organizations and associations. But why should we go to all this trouble?
There are a number of benefits to accreditation, not the least of which is that, in the clinical environment, the requirement is for reliable, evidence-based best practices that comply with all laws and standards in the jurisdictions where nurses will be working. We are committed to ongoing improvement that includes independent peer review of our programs from approved accreditors in Canada and the US to give our programs their seal of approval.
The validation of quality helps to create partnerships, exchanges of best practices, and student transfer. Accreditation supports program improvement and student learning outcomes by encouraging programs to demonstrate their contributions to advancing knowledge, research, and improving clinical practice. With every accreditation provider we partner with, it is essential for faculty members to produce research and engage in service activities that are appropriate to the mission of the program and the vision and values of the college, as well as demonstrate compliance with nursing practice standards.
Ultimately, accreditation offers programs the ability to showcase the competencies and skills each of their graduates possess. The accreditation process helps programs identify what their students learn, and can demonstrate, in ongoing clinical practice.
How accreditation supports students
Accreditation provides a reliable and trustworthy indication of value and quality to potential students. Being accredited by a recognized provincial or national governing organization signals to the student that programs meet a field-wide standard of quality, the provider continuously seeks to improve their operations, and that the provider practices truth in advertising. Students can be assured that through a recognized accredited program, they will be provided the resources to complete their program, achieve established learning objectives, and improve their opportunities to advance their nursing practice.
How accreditation supports employers
Accreditation is a signal of quality and reliability to potential employers who not only seek to hire competent program graduates with the skills they require, but also may wish to partner with academic institutions as capstone clients or for internship placements.
How accreditation supports the college
Recognized accreditation is an external stamp of program quality respected at the level of the college. An accredited program is typically a highly valued component of the institution. Caritas College recently received accreditation by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta.
How accreditation supports clinical professional development
Accreditation through governing nursing bodies is an expression of a program’s commitment to the field of clinical professional development education. Accredited clinical professional development programs are seen to be leaders in the field of ongoing clinical education. The accreditors’ standards and accreditation process serve to maintain and enhance the recognition and reputation of clinical professional development providers globally.
Affiliations are with provincial, state and national interest groups that match and support our education activities. These intentionally chosen interest groups offer a wide range of supportive activities such as discussion forums, conferences and networking opportunities. They are also the organizations that, at the provincial, state, national and international level, are best suited to represent our organization, identify opportunities that may be of benefit and raise the positive profile of the sector.