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Column

GUEST COLUMN: Sauk nursing program striving to be the best

Additional accreditation would take it to a new level

Consistently ranked as one of the best community colleges in Illinois, Sauk Valley Community College continues to provide quality educational opportunities at a reasonable price. And in my opinion, SVCC lives up to its mission of being “dedicated to teaching and scholarship while engaging the community in lifelong learning, public service, and economic development.” SVCC’s nursing program is a perfect example of how community colleges should serve their communities.

SVCC’s nursing program has been accredited for more than 50 years, providing the Sauk Valley area with more than 2,000 qualified nursing graduates. Many of these graduates remain within our community serving as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) or Registered Nurses (RN) and fill a constant need for highly trained nurses by our local hospitals and other health care facilities.

I’m excited to confirm that the SVCC nursing program, already approved to offer classes by the Higher Learning Commission, the Illinois Community College Board, and the Illinois Board of Nursing, is applying for additional accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). This additional accreditation will provide a multitude of benefits to our nursing program and our nursing students by helping the college provide the most contemporary nursing education in Illinois. For the last 2 years, the SVCC nursing program faculty and administrative personnel have worked tirelessly to review the nursing program curriculum and to provide additional support structures to our nursing students in order to prepare for the ACEN accreditation visit in October 2019.

In Illinois, nursing programs do not have to be accredited by an outside agency like ACEN, but must be approved by the Illinois Board of Nursing – as SVCC’s program already is. Because of SVCC’s commitment to “teaching and scholarship,” we are seeking accreditation as a way to improve our already strong program and to increase our already impressive graduation rates, nursing exam pass rates, and job placement rates. In other words, SVCC isn’t seeking ACEN accreditation out of need, but out of the desire to be the best nursing program in Illinois.

In early October, the ACEN Accreditation Review Team will be on campus to review SVCC’s nursing program. As part of this accreditation process, there will be an opportunity for community members to attend a session with the ACEN Review Team. Please join us from 3:15 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 9 in the Riverview conference rooms at Sauk Valley Community College.

I am proud of SVCC’s commitment to serving the community by being “dedicated to teaching and scholarship” while “engaging the community in public service and economic development.” And to those thousands of SVCC nursing graduates, thank you for your service to your community and to your dedication to lifelong learning.

See you at Sauk.

Note to readers: Steve Nunez is vice president of academics and student services at Sauk Valley Community College.

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