SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 13, 2011) — The School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio has received reaccreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for its baccalaureate and master’s degree programs. The reaccreditation period is for 10 years — the maximum granted by the commission.
“I am very proud of the entire School of Nursing,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the UT Health Science Center. “They have worked diligently to ensure that the four key standards were met. I am especially grateful to Dean Breslin (Eileen Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN) for her exemplary and steady leadership since her arrival as dean in the spring of 2008. Our students will receive a superior education and be better prepared to address the many challenges they will encounter in their careers due to these efforts.”
Dean Breslin added, “We could not have achieved this success without the work of our School of Nursing’s internal reaccreditation team led by Dr. Suzanne Yarbrough and the entire faculty, staff and student body. We completed a thorough evaluation of our programs, updated our curriculum to include new national standards, and applied for and received significant new funding to support our educational, research and clinical efforts. I also thank our Nursing Advisory Council and hospital and community partners for their support.”
Dr. Yarbrough is associate dean for undergraduate programs and clinical associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Health Systems.
The bachelor’s and master’s degree programs were evaluated according to four standards. In general, the standards measured:
- Whether the School of Nursing’s vision, programs and curriculum were in alignment with the university’s missions, professional nursing standards and the needs of the community;
- Whether the programs had adequate support from the university and various other funding sources to achieve goals;
- Whether the faculty and students were meeting the goals of the programs.
Some of the School of Nursing’s most significant achievements that contributed to the reaccreditation success include:
- Updating the undergraduate and graduate curriculums to include guidelines mandated in the Institute of Medicine’s report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” Those guidelines promote higher levels of education in the nursing workforce, practicing to the fullest extent of training, full partnership with other health professions in improving patient care, and participating in effective workforce planning and policymaking.
- Upgrading classrooms and providing technical support for revisions to the curriculum that promote online learning.
- Launching an accelerated bachelor’s degree program for students with a degree in another field and an accelerated online master’s degree, as well as laying the groundwork for a doctorate in nursing practice.
- Constructing a 3,500-square-foot Clinical Simulation Center in the School of Nursing for improved clinical education.
- Receiving significant community support to accomplish these goals, including a $3.9 million gift from Methodist Healthcare Ministries Inc. of South Texas to address the nursing shortage in South Texas. Additional funding for the Clinical Simulation Center and related projects came from University Health System, the school’s Nursing Advisory Council and private donors, and a $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
- Improving and expanding the Student Health Center, instituting an Employee Health and Wellness Clinic, and developing a School of Nursing clinical enterprise in the community that, along with the Student Health Center, provides care for the underserved;
- Increasing faculty research funding nearly nine-fold, from $827,000 in the 2007-2008 academic year to $7.7 million in the 2009-2010 academic year.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $228 million in fiscal year 2010. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $744 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.