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WCC’s Nursing Program Meets Continuing Accreditation Requirements


Dothan, Ala.– The Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program at Wallace Community College-Dothan has been granted continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). ACEN is the accrediting organization for all types of nursing education, and is especially important to employers of Wallace ADN graduates. The College hosted a site visit by ACEN peer inspectors in January, and was informed of the accreditation in a recent letter. 

Kathy Buntin, associate dean, Health Sciences, explained that the ADN program was required to submit a thorough self-study that demonstrated compliance with required ACEN standards. “The self-study document is reviewed during a site visit and by members of an evaluation review panel,” said Buntin. “During the site visit the program is also evaluated by direct observation and interviews.” ACEN panels interview students, graduates, employers, faculty, and administers. After the on-site visit, a summary report is submitted to an Evaluation Review Panel. The ACEN Board of Commissioners review recommendations of the panel and then issue the Commission decision regarding accreditation status.

The accreditation process is voluntary, with peer-review intended to improve nursing education. The resulting accreditation provides for an independent analysis of the program and encourages constant, on-going self-examination which focuses on student achievement and success.

Reaccreditation can have significant impact on the Associate Degree Nursing program because it identifies the accomplishment of standards specific to nursing education. Granting accreditation requires proof of a high level of quality, integrity, and student success. It is also important to ADN graduates who choose to pursue the Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) through a four-year university. For admittance, many universities require that registered nurses must be graduates of an accredited program. 

“The ADN program exemplifies the high national standards required for ACEN accreditation and considers this a necessity for those who have chosen Wallace Community College for their nursing education,” said Buntin. 

The maximum length of time that continuing accreditation can be granted by ACEN is eight years, which is what WCC received. Reports are submitted annually to verify that the program is continuing to meet accreditation standards. Wallace’s ADN program was initially accredited in January 1978. The next evaluation visit will be in spring 2023. Accreditation granted by the ACEN is recognized nationally. 

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