On April 7, the Lamar Community College Nursing Department received official notification that the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) had renewed its accreditation through 2024.

The accreditation process includes an intensive self-study and improvement plan owned by the Nursing faculty and staff, as well as an on-site evaluation by ACEN.

The LCC Nursing staff noted that only approximately 10% of programs are able to go through the accreditation process without noting some deficiencies that need to be addressed, such as poor pass rates or faculty qualifications, but the LCC program passed with flying colors.

Kathy Henderson, department head for LCC Nursing, was very pleased with the results.

“They go through all our information with a fine-tooth comb,” said Henderson. “So to have our review come back with zero deficiencies was great.  It displays how hard this department works to have the highest quality program, period.  It shows the passion of this department; we’ve wanted this for so long and it’s paid off.”

The in-depth site visit, which took place in September 2016, included a tour of the college; meetings with each staff member; a curriculum review; observations of classes, labs, and clinical sites; discussions with students, advisory board members, and college administration; as well as overview of the program’s plan of evaluation and self-study report.

At the conclusion of the accreditation process, the ACEN team reported that LCC and the Nursing program and met or exceeded expectations in all six required standards.

In her comments to the LCC Nursing department, Dr. Nancy Diede, Chairperson of the three-person committee, said that the LCC Nursing program was a “little gem on the plains”.

Nancy Winsor, Nursing faculty, noted why this accreditation process is so important and what it means for LCC.

“Many bachelor’s degrees require that their students come from nationally accredited schools, and certain employers require it.  State board of Nursing is mandating that all schools in Colorado maintain national accreditation,” she said.  “This means that we offer our Associate degree students the necessary accreditation to continue with their education and/or future employment. “

“We are proud of our program and what we’ve been able to do,” said Nursing faculty Mary Ann Turner. “We would also like to thank the campus as a whole during this process.  Wherever we asked for assistance and support, everyone on campus was very accommodating.  We felt fully supported campus-wide and appreciated that very much.”

For more information regarding the Nursing program at Lamar Community College, contact Susan Bowles at 719.336.1594 or nursing@lamarcc.edu.