Nursing at Brock receives top marks with accreditation

The Department of Nursing at Brock has received a seven-year accreditation from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) for the “Brock stream” of its nursing program.

“The accreditation award signifies that our nursing program is on par with the best programs in the country,” says Lynn Rempel, chair of the Department of Nursing. “The accreditation standards demand excellence in nursing education and scholarship, and over the course of an extensive review we have demonstrated that excellence.”

After accrediting its first undergrad program in 1987, CASN has continued as the national accrediting body for nursing education in Canada. The association sets overarching quality dimensions, standards and key elements for assessing nursing programs and institutional units.

Brock established its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program in 2000 as a degree completion program for registered nurses with a college diploma.

A year later, the department established a four-year BScN program with students completing two years at Loyalist College and two years at Brock. This collaborative program was accredited by CASN in 2007 with the maximum seven-year accreditation with an interim report.

The “Brock stream” option of completing all four years at the University 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.

“Our department 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 four years of the nursing program,” says Rempel.

The on-site review took place in November 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 departmental operations.

The on-site visit brought CASN reviewers to the depths of the program with a tour of classes and observations of clinical groups, as well as interviews with students, clinical instructors, and health care and community agency partners.

Brock’s nursing program has continually worked to foster health care partnerships with community groups in order to provide clinical experiences for its students. These partnerships include the Niagara Health System, Niagara Regional Long-Term Care Homes, Niagara Public Health, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital and a number of community-based health care providers and community agencies in Niagara.

The department remains committed to developing relationships and to the principles that influence change and contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, organizations and communities in Niagara, Ontario, Canada and globally.

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