The Florida A&M University School of Nursing (SON) is in jeopardy of losing their accreditation after 82 years of being the oldest continuing baccalaureate nursing program at a historically black institution.
Beginning in 1936, FAMU’s School of Nursing has offered Bachelor and Master’s of Science degree, as well as a post-master’s certificate plan for students who have completed requirements for admission to the professional realm.
Ten years after the Florida Board of Nursing approved of the program and permitted graduate students to write the licensed exam, the program obtained accreditation by the Collegiate Board of Review.
Students and faculty now fear that this same accreditation is at risk after the School of Nursing was put on probation in early April. This probation period includes a two-year span where the program is given the opportunity to enhance its National Council Licensure Examination pass rate outcomes.
“The probationary period in no way has affected our accreditation status,” said Roder Writer, the Interim Provost. “During this probationary period, current students will not be impacted in their ability to become licensed professionals and participate in the exam. In fact, we have instituted a remediation plan to help better prepare our students for success on the exam.”
The multi-tier action plan that was formed by Writer, SON’s Dean Robert Talley, and Academic Affairs was presented to the Board and was approved. It included revising the curriculum, improving performance in high failure rate courses, raising the academic profile of incoming students, providing test preparations and providing professional development for faculty on pedagogical best practices.
Students will be focused on their first year in the program to ensure that they do not become at risk students. Although the School of Nursing’s remediation plan was outlined with long term goals that will take place by 2020, the school intends to complete these improvements within a year or by the next testing period; in hopes to end the probation period as early as possible.
According to FAMU Communications officials, this year’s test was different than the ones given in the previous years and students were not ready for the change. This scenario has played a part in students’ scores detouring from the ultimate goal. The plan being inputted sets a clear goal on students’ first-time pass rate on the exam from 65% to 87% by December.
If the School of Nursing is successful in properly preparing its students for the next testing period in May, the school will be released from the probationary period.
“We look forward to sharing positive results soon and welcome our stakeholders’ input for maintaining the level of excellence each School of Nursing student deserve, said Talley.”