As long as you complete a nursing degree, does it really matter whether or not the program is accredited? Yes! There are a number of ways in which a degree from an accredited program is superior to one that is not accredited. Accredited schools are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as meeting certain standardized requirements that are recognized as best practices.
Better Employment Opportunities
Some institutions simply won't hire nurses who have earned their degree from a non-accredited program. Others may not make accreditation a requirement for employment, but the candidate with an accredited degree has an edge over those with non-accredited degrees. This is due to the strict standards nursing programs must employ to meet the requirements for accreditation. Employers are assured that candidates from accredited programs have the training they need to perform to the highest standard.
Qualifying for Federal and State Grants
In order to participate in national research programs, nurses must have graduated from an accredited program. This helps qualify them for many federal and state grants and research initiatives, such as those with the National Institutes of Health. Nurses graduating from non-accredited programs will not have the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of medical science in this way.
Internship and Residency Opportunities
Some of the most desirable internship and residency opportunities, such as the one offered with Children's National, go to nurses in accredited programs. These internships complement the students' education with practical, real-world experience in professional health care facilities. With this experience under their belt, interns in accredited programs can add this to their resumes, be more competitive for more prestigious positions and gain networking opportunities needed to obtain interviews.
Ability to Pursue Advanced Studies Post RN-BSN
If a nurse is considering their BSN and later decides to pursue a master's degree, one must have a degree from an accredited BSN program in order to be accepted into many graduate programs. Without this accreditation, nurses may find it difficult to advance their careers or education.
Learning With the Best Students
In order to be among the best students, and inevitably among the most sought after job candidates, it's important to attend an accredited program. These programs also attract a higher level of instructors and support staff, so the entire level of education is generally superior to non-accredited schools.
Ability to Enter Into Teaching
Some nurses later decide they'd like to help others train for the nursing profession. In order to work as a nursing instructor, many states, such as California, require nurses to have graduated from an accredited nursing program. This opens up part-time and full-time positions, which offer nurses even more opportunities to capitalize on the investment in education.
An accredited program provides more opportunities and enables nurses to achieve more in their educational and professional careers by giving them the tools necessary to lead and motivate their teams and care for patients. Take the right path in your education with an accredited online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from University of Saint Mary.