OFTC Nursing Programs Granted ACEN Accreditation
Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s (OFTC) Practical Nursing (PN) and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Bridge programs were recently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), an agency whose mission is to support the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public by the functions of accreditation.
Both OFTC programs were already approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing, but this added outside accreditation puts a trusted third-party organization’s seal of approval on the college’s programs, which assures students and hiring agencies that OFTC students will be high quality, knowledgeable graduates.
“Being ACEN accredited ensures our students and employers that our curriculum has been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality,” shared Tammy Bayto, OFTC’s Dean of Academic Affairs for Allied Health and Professional Services.
The GBON does require an outside accreditation for Registered Nurse (RN) producing programs, meaning the college’s ADN Bridge program. However, they do not require it for PN programs.
“We are excited about the opportunities this will afford our graduates and are extremely proud to have that official stamp of approval that validates our nursing programs,” she added.
After applying for candidacy to ACEN, the college went through a four-step process to reach accreditation approval, including the program’s self-reflection regarding its compliance with the ACEN Standards and Criteria as presented in its Self-Study Report; a site visit of the program resulting in the peer evaluators documenting their assessment and accreditation recommendation regarding the program’s compliance with the ACEN Standards and Criteria in the Site Visit Report; a program-specific Evaluation Review Panel examination of the reports written by and about the program; and a review of the process by the ACEN Board of Commissioners.
“The work that goes into this process can be tedious and challenging at times,” shared OFTC President, Erica Harden, “but our nursing faculty members’ efforts were exceptional, and we are proud of this accomplishment.”
“We’ve always known our Practical Nursing and ADN-Bridge programs were outstanding, but it’s nice to have the affirmation from an agency like ACEN which assures us that the quality, goals, and methodologies of our programs are consistent with current nursing goals and guidelines.”
OFTC’s PN program is offered on the college’s Sandersville and Dublin campuses and can be completed in three semesters after core classes are completed. The ADN-Bridge program is offered on the Sandersville campus and allows Licensed Practical Nurses or Paramedics who have worked in-field for one year to pursue their RN license. The program can be completed in three semesters after core classes are completed.