HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — Earlier this month the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing evaluated 21 nursing programs in the state.
While some passed and received their renewals, four Mississippi universities and community colleges were told to make improvements.
Nursing programs at the University of Southern Mississippi, Alcorn State University, East Mississippi and Meridian Community Colleges have been advised they need to make changes to their program soon.
Although it sounds like a bad thing, one Southern Miss nursing student explains to WHLT 22 why he still felt like he got the best education.
“I just graduated this semester so I’m about to go out into the work force and be a nurse,” said Stoney Flexter. “So I think that it gives me and all students a sense of like confidence in the nursing program that we are prepared going into the nursing field.”
Flexter recently graduated from USM’s program in May 2017 and accepted a job in Nashville, TN as a nurse.
Associate Dean Dr. Lachel Story with USM’s nursing department says the Nurse Practitioner program has one faculty member who’s license was not active in the state. In her statement she says that faculty member is no longer employed.
Flexter added, “Accrediting agencies have strict standards you know that nursing programs have to meet and if they don’t have strict standards that nursing programs have to abide by then quality nurses aren’t going to be going out in the community.
For Alcorn and East Mississippi’s associate nursing program, their three-year passing rate on the national exam is below the 80 percent standard. Alcorn was also not meeting faculty and curriculum standards.
Meridian Community College must develop a plan to improve the time rate their students complete their degrees. Documents show half of their students take three years to finish the two-year program.
“They need to make changes and make them quick so they’re still producing quality nurses,” said Flexter.
The accrediting Commission is requiring a warning follow up report and visit for Alcorn’s nursing program in the fall. They have two years to fix the problem.
WHLT 22 reached out to Alcorn State University, East Mississippi and Meridian Community Colleges and received no response.