Four months after receiving notice that a voluntary program accreditation was being suspended by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), River Valley Community College (RVCC) was informed by ACEN that it can move forward with a new application for candidacy status.
River Valley Community College received notice from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing on October 30, 2013 that allows it to apply for Candidacy Status and move toward regaining full accreditation. River Valley has been educating and training practical and registered nurses for over 45 years. The college launched its Practical Nursing program in 1968 and established its Registered Nursing program in 1981.
Regaining ACEN accreditation will be contingent upon meeting conditions set by the NH Board of Nursing, which placed River Valley’s Associate Degree Nursing Program (RN) on Conditional Approval for one year beginning October 17, 2013. Under the Conditional Approval standing, RVCC is eligible for full approval by the NH Board of Nursing in October of 2014 if it meets the requirements identified by the Board. One requirement is that the NCLEX scores of students in the class of 2014 are above the national and state average. College officials were pleased to note that the class of 2013 was able to demonstrate a pass rate that met this standard.
“We are grateful for the support and guidance provided by the NH Board of Nursing and ACEN as we work to improve student NCLEX scores and make overall improvements to the program of study,” said Dr. Susan Henderson, RVCC Vice President of Academic Affairs (Interim). The college intends to take the steps necessary to regain full approval of its associate degree nursing program in the coming months and to regain accreditation with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Current RVCC Associate Degree Nursing students who take classes at the main campus in Claremont, NH and the college’s Academic Center in Keene will remain eligible to take examinations for state licensure, and any River Valley nursing graduate who chooses to pursue a bachelor of science and/or master’s degree in nursing remains able to do so.
“Our goal continues to be to maintain academic integrity and meet the expectations of our students,” Henderson said. The college has transfer and dual enrollment relationships so that RN students can seamlessly obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a nationally accredited program if that is their desired goal.
Dr. Alicia Harvey-Smith, president of RVCC said, “Both River Valley and Community College System of New Hampshire continue to be committed to dedicating the resources necessary for the college’s nursing program to transition back into full approval status with the NH Board of Nursing, and ACEN national accreditation status as soon as possible.”