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Minnesota West nears NLN accreditation

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

WORTHINGTON -- Minnesota West's associate degree nursing program, which trains those already certified as licensed practical nurses, has taken the first step toward accreditation by the National League of Nursing (NLN).

The National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) granted the school candidacy status in December and will make a final decision regarding accreditation this summer.

"Students and faculty are very dedicated to this," said Minnesota West Director of Nursing Dawn Gordon. "It's not (only) a college goal but a student and faculty goal."

Gordon said the college began the accreditation process last spring, when it submitted a review report to the NLN, describing the program in detail.

In February, a representative from NLNAC will visit the Worthington campus to review the program in person.

"They'll look at courses, curriculum, review the faculty, the board pass rate, the licensure passing rate and student satisfaction with the program," she explained.

Two separate NLNAC boards will decide this summer whether to certify the school. If the program is approved, certification will be retroactively given to 2009 spring graduates of the program, as it will to future graduates.

"It may enhance job opportunities for students," said Gordon. "(Minnesota West is) showing students that we are dedicated to extra awards or honors in a program."

Minnesota West's associate degree nursing program has been accredited by the Minnesota Board of Nursing since 1996, when the program began.

The college withdrew its accreditation from the National League for Nursing in 2006 because then-president Ron Wood had concerns about how the accreditation process was being handled.