Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Seeking its first full accreditation for the Brock stream of Nursing, the Department of Nursing has received top marks with a 7-year accreditation from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN).
After accrediting its first undergrad program in 1987, CASN has continued as the national accrediting body for nursing education in Canada setting overarching quality dimensions, standards, and key elements for assessing nursing programs and institutional units.
“The current 7-year accreditation award signifies that our nursing program is on par with the best programs in the country.” Says Lynn Rempel, who is the chair for the Department of Nursing at Brock.
“The accreditation standards demand excellence in nursing education and scholarship, and over the course of an extensive review we have demonstrated that excellence.”
Brock established its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program in 2000 as a degree completion program for registered nurses already having a college diploma.
A year later the department established a four-year BScN program with students completing two years at Loyalist and two years at Brock, this collaborative program was accredited in 2007 with the maximum 7-year accreditation with an interim report.
The Brock stream option of completing all four years at Brock was first offered in 2005, and now, after a rigorous review process will have the maximum accreditation serving the program through 2019.
Preparing for the on-site visit and extensive review process, faculty and staff began preparing new strategic plans and associated human resource plans back in May 2011.
Faculty and staff analyzed annual exit surveys that had been completed by each cohort of graduating students at the end of their final nursing practice course. Telephone surveys were conducted with alumni from the first two graduating classes along with their employers.
Each faculty member was involved in mapping their courses according to the Brock nursing program learning outcomes and the College of Nurses of Ontario Entry-to-Practice competencies for Registered Nurses.
“The Department of Nursing is has been noted for its use of creative methods of teaching and learning employing a variety of equipment, as well as high, medium, and low-fidelity mannequins across all 4 years of the nursing program” says Rempel.
The on-site review took place on November 28 to 30, 2011, with three Canadian nursing faculty members serving as volunteer reviewers. On behalf of CASN, the review explored all aspects of the program and facilities, including a full meet and greet with all faculty and staff involved with the departmental operations.
The on-site visit brought the CASN reviewers to the depths of the program with a tour of classes, observation of clinical groups, interviews with students and clinical instructors, along with health care and community agency partners.
By focusing on student development, nursing at Brock has continually worked to foster health care partnerships with the Niagara Health System, Niagara Regional Long-Term Care Homes, Niagara Public Health, and West Lincoln Memorial Hospital and a number of community-based health care providers and community agencies to provide clinical experiences for nursing students.
The department remains committed to developing relationships and to the principals that influence change and contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, organizations, and communities in Niagara, Ontario, Canada, and globally.