Nursing accreditors to release Edison findings

Matt Grant

Nursing accreditors to release Edison findings

CREATED Mar. 14, 2012

FORT MYERS - Edison State College's bachelor of science in nursing program is one step closer to becoming accredited.

The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, or NLNAC, wrapped up their on-site visit Wednesday meeting with Edison students, faculty and community leaders.

Among those who attended the session was Sandy Bell, a current BSN student, who remembers being misled at orientation.

"They said they were accredited," said Bell.

But that wasn't true. The college later admitted students were misled about the BSN program's accreditation status and publicly apology.

In November 2010, an Edison official told students in a letter that "over the next few months we fully expect our...BSN will be accredited." But when that letter went out the college never applied.

"It was misleading," said Bell. "And we weren't sure what was happening. We were told one thing and then another thing happened."

Now, almost a year and a half after that letter was sent out, the people who have the power to grant accreditation are finally on campus.

"We have a lot of people waiting to see if you guys are going to do this," one woman told members of the NLNAC during the  listening session.

"I sense an overwhelming community support for this institution," an NLNAC representative told the small crowd, after hearing a lot of praise for the program. 

Even graduates, like Jean Drake, who didn't get the accredited degree she was promised, say the program deserves the NLNAC stamp.

"What did you want the accreditors to know?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.

"That the education is top notch here," said Drake, who called herself a "proud Edison graduate." 

"I want to make sure I show my support for Edison," she said, "because they are a quality institution."

Some students have deferred their graduation to wait for the program to become accredited. If it is approved, anyone graduating during the "evaluation" period will graduate with an accredited degree, according to the NLNAC Web site.

The accreditation stamp is not retroactive for students who have already graduated.

As for Bell, she says the college seems to be getting back on truck and that's enough for her to drop plans to transfer.

"I actually applied to" another university, she said. "I was gong to go there but it wasn't home. It wasn't community. It wasn't here. And this is where I want to be."

The NLNAC is expected to release their findings Thursday morning.

A final vote will be made in July.

Matt Grant