The Central Lakes College (CLC) Practical Nursing department has been diligently working to prepare for an upcoming national accreditation visit. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is the governing organization for national accreditation for nursing programs. ACEN supports nursing education, nursing practice and the public. Central Lakes College is seeking initial national accreditation for the Practical Nursing program and the Associate Degree (Mobility) Nursing program. Accreditation means that nursing programs have demonstrated competency in six core standards and criteria associated with nursing education through rigorous evaluation processes. For students this means more access, opportunity, and mobility for continuing education and job placement throughout the nation.
During the past three years the department has been preparing for national accreditation, six Practical Nursing faculty have been advancing their nursing degrees. During the past year, all six have achieved their goal of obtaining a master’s degree in nursing. The faculty members include Shirley Lofquist, Peggy Rider, Jessica Herron (St. Xavier’s University), Julie Woitalla (Metropolitan State University), and Sarah Jennissen and Tara Karels (University of Minnesota, Moorhead). Eleven of the twelve full-time nursing faculty members now have master’s degrees in nursing.
The Practical Nursing program is the largest career program offered at CLC with an average of 150 students per semester enrolled in the program. Practical Nursing’s substantial growth over the past decade is attributed to a strong job market and continued quality improvements with the program. "These six faculty members are to be commended for this great accomplishment. Their students are benefitting from the advanced training that these instructors received and will be better prepared for their profession upon graduation. Our nursing programs are of the highest quality because of the dedication and professionalism of our faculty,” stated CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad.
“Their dedication to continuing education and life long learning fits well with the mission and vision of MnSCU, CLC and the Practical Nursing Program,” commented Connie Frisch, Director of Nursing. “I have been awed by the amazing abilities these women demonstrate through consistently modeling professional behaviors in nursing leadership while managing the roles of teacher and learner simultaneously as well as the curriculum changes and preparation for the national visit,” added Frisch. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) visit is scheduled for October 15-17, 2013.
Shirley Lofquist, Jessica Herron, Tara Karels, Julie Woitalla, Sarah Jennissen, and Peggy Rider.