ROSEBURG, Oregon – The Nursing program at Umpqua Community College (UCC) has been in the spotlight for several months. A recent newspaper article has received a substantial amount of attention in the community. The following is designed to deliver accurate information about the program and its accreditation:
- Every nursing program in the country must be accredited in order to operate.
- UCC’s RN Program is approved, which is synonymous with being accredited, by the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN).
- UCC must follow strict state requirements in order to keep its accreditation status.
- The program must meet rigorous guidelines to maintain the ability to host the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) level program.
- OSBN approval is non-negotiable. A link to the specific requirements the UCC ADN program must meet can be reviewed here, starting with Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 851-021-0040 through 851-021-0070.
- Ten years ago, UCC sought national accreditation to accommodate the 64 students who were enrolled in the program.
- At the time, the College needed the national accreditation for clinical placements at the Roseburg VA and the facility had an active intensive care unit and a medical surgical unit. Due to cuts and closures over the years, they are no longer operating. Additionally, UCC now caps enrollment at 48 students per cohort.
- No UCC student nurses have done their clinicals at the VA in the past three years. To the best of UCC’s knowledge, the VA has not directly hired a UCC graduate in at least the past five years.
- UCC did not lose its national accreditation. Last spring, UCC elected to forego the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) national accreditation. The College voluntary decided to forego its ACEN accreditation because it was voluntary, not needed, and an unnecessary budgetary expense. Additionally, a large amount of personnel time was expended to maintain this non-essential accreditation, calling into question the cost versus benefit.
- The decision included input from multiple community partners from UCC’s Advisory Committee (which is largely made up of staff from local clinical sites and includes student representation), colleague feedback from the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE), communication to the OSBN, and UCC student representatives, staff, faculty, and administration.
- Additionally, UCC was informed by its advisory committee representative from the VA that the once-needed national accreditation to perform clinicals at VA facilities was removed at the federal level. This made it an easy decision to make, since it would not impact students. This decision was immediately shared with student representatives, to be shared with both cohorts.
- UCC is partnered with OCNE. There are 17 OCNE schools in Oregon with 11 ADN-level nursing programs. Of these ADN programs, there are only three programs with a national accreditation. With or without the national accreditation, graduates of these OCNE schools seamlessly transition into BSN programs and employment.
- UCC is regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) which assesses the campus as a whole. UCC has OSBN approval (accreditation) and is in good standing.
More information about UCC’s Nursing program can be located on the UCC Nursing website.
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.