Nursing masters program accredited by CCNE

Henderson State University’s nursing department learned June 8 that its master’s degree program has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Henderson began offering an online Master’s of Science in Nursing degree in 2018 with two tracks, including Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Administrator.

The accreditation is effective as of September 11, 2019, which is the first day of the program’s CCNE on-site evaluation.

CCNE seal

“Graduating from an accredited nursing program assures the public that the program has met national standards that provide a quality education,” said Dr. Shelley Austin, nursing department chair. “Students who graduate from an accredited nursing program are more marketable and their degrees carry more weight to potential employers.”

Austin said the accreditation process requires the nursing program to have a continuous improvement process which promotes quality education. It includes a systematic, comprehensive evaluation of the nursing program.

Dr. Allison Divine, interim graduate nursing program director, said the accreditation process is rigorous and opens up the program to outside evaluators who review the program from the ground up and validate that it meets the standards set by the accrediting body.

“Opening a program to objective external reviewers provides a deeper level of scrutiny to the curriculum and processes utilized by the program,” she said. “It makes us evaluate if what we are doing is effective and that we are using best practices.

“I have always felt like accreditation is the gold seal stamp of approval that signifies your program is meeting the standard. It also ensures that we are achieving our program outcomes.”

Austin agreed that the process was “long and strenuous.”

“It took a great deal of effort from everyone involved to accomplish this prestigious designation, including students, faculty, directors, deans, the Graduate School, Henderson’s executive team, administrative assistants, staff, support services, community partners and preceptors,” she said. “We could not have done it without each and every one of them and we will be forever grateful.”

At its meeting in May, the CCNE board determined that the program met all four accreditation standards, and determined that there are no compliance concerns.

The accreditation will extend to June 2025, with another on-site evaluation in fall 2024.

For more information about Henderson’s nursing programs, go to