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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

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Accreditation of RN Education programs
Stage: Final
 
18VAC90-27-10

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC90-27-10. Definitions.

In addition to words and terms defined in § 54.1-3000 of the Code of Virginia, the following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Accreditation" means having been accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation, or a national nursing accrediting organization recognized by the board.

"Advisory committee" means a group of persons from a nursing education program and the health care community who meets regularly to advise the nursing education program on the quality of its graduates and the needs of the community.

"Approval" means the process by which the board or a governmental agency in another state or foreign country evaluates and grants official recognition to nursing education programs that meet established standards not inconsistent with Virginia law.

"Associate degree nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse licensure, offered by a Virginia college or other institution and designed to lead to an associate degree in nursing, provided that the institution is authorized to confer such degree by SCHEV.

"Baccalaureate degree nursing program" or "prelicensure graduate degree program" means a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse licensure, offered by a Virginia college or university and designed to lead to a baccalaureate or a graduate degree with a major in nursing, provided that the institution is authorized to confer such degree by SCHEV.

"Board" means the Board of Nursing.

"Clinical setting" means any location in which the clinical practice of nursing occurs as specified in an agreement between the cooperating agency and the school of nursing.

"Conditional approval" means a time-limited status that results when an approved nursing education program has failed to maintain requirements as set forth in this chapter.

"Cooperating agency" means an agency or institution that enters into a written agreement to provide clinical or observational experiences for a nursing education program.

"Diploma nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse licensure, offered by a hospital and designed to lead to a diploma in nursing, provided the hospital is licensed in this state.

"Initial approval" means the status granted to a nursing education program that allows the admission of students.

"National certifying organization" means an organization that has as one of its purposes the certification of a specialty in nursing based on an examination attesting to the knowledge of the nurse for practice in the specialty area.

"NCLEX" means the National Council Licensure Examination.

"NCSBN" means the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

"Nursing education program" means an entity offering a basic course of study preparing persons for licensure as registered nurses or as licensed practical nurses. A basic course of study shall include all courses required for the degree, diploma, or certificate.

"Nursing faculty" means registered nurses who teach the practice of nursing in nursing education programs.

"Practical nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for practical nurse licensure that leads to a diploma or certificate in practical nursing, provided the school is authorized by the Virginia Department of Education or by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

"Preceptor" means a licensed nurse who is employed in the clinical setting, serves as a resource person and role model, and is present with the nursing student in that setting, providing clinical supervision.

"Program director" means a registered nurse who holds a current, unrestricted license in Virginia or a multistate licensure privilege and who has been designated by the controlling authority to administer the nursing education program.

"Recommendation" means a guide to actions that will assist an institution to improve and develop its nursing education program.

"Requirement" means a mandatory condition that a nursing education program must meet to be approved or maintain approval.

"SCHEV" means the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

"Site visit" means a focused onsite review of the nursing program by board staff, usually completed within one day for the purpose of evaluating program components such as the physical location (skills lab, classrooms, learning resources) for obtaining initial program approval, in response to a complaint, compliance with NCLEX plan of correction, change of location, or verification of noncompliance with this chapter.

"Survey visit" means a comprehensive onsite review of the nursing program by board staff, usually completed within two days (depending on the number of programs or campuses being reviewed) for the purpose of obtaining and maintaining full program approval. The survey visit includes the program's completion of a self-evaluation report prior to the visit, as well as a board staff review of all program resources, including skills lab, classrooms, learning resources, and clinical facilities, and other components to ensure compliance with this chapter. Meetings with faculty, administration, students, and clinical facility staff will occur.

18VAC90-27-220

18VAC90-27-220. Maintaining an approved nursing education program.

A. The program director of each nursing education program shall submit an annual report to the board.

B. Each Prior to [ (insert three years from the effective date of this regulation) February 7, 2021 ], each registered nursing education program shall be reevaluated as follows:

1. Every registered nursing education program that has not achieved accreditation as defined in 18VAC90-27-10 shall be reevaluated at least every five years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report based on Parts II (18VAC90-27-30 et seq.) and III (18VAC90-27-150 et seq.) of this chapter and a survey visit by a representative or representatives of the board on dates mutually acceptable to the institution and the board.

2. A registered nursing education program that has maintained accreditation as defined in 18VAC90-27-10 shall be reevaluated at least every 10 years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report as provided by the board. As evidence of compliance with specific requirements of this chapter, the board may accept the most recent study report, site visit report, and final decision letter from the accrediting body. The board may require additional information or a site visit to ensure compliance with requirements of this chapter. If accreditation has been withdrawn or a program has been placed on probation by the accrediting body, the board may require a survey visit. If a program fails to submit the documentation required in this subdivision, the requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection shall apply.

After [ (insert three years from the effective date of this regulation) February 7, 2021 ], each registered nursing education program shall have accreditation or candidacy status and shall be reevaluated at least every 10 years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report as provided by the board. As evidence of compliance with specific requirements of this chapter, the board may accept the most recent study report, site visit report, and final decision letter from the accrediting body. The board may require additional information or a site visit to ensure compliance with requirements of this chapter. If a program has been placed on probation by the accrediting body, the board may require a survey visit. If a program fails to submit the documentation required in this subdivision, the requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection shall apply.

C. Each practical nursing education program shall be reevaluated as follows:

1. Every practical nursing education program that has not achieved accreditation as defined in 18VAC90-27-10 shall be reevaluated at least every five years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report based on Parts II (18VAC90-27-30 et seq.) and III (18VAC90-27-150 et seq.) of this chapter and a survey visit by a representative or representatives of the board on dates mutually acceptable to the institution and the board.

2. A practical nursing education program that has maintained accreditation as defined in 18VAC90-27-10 shall be reevaluated at least every 10 years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report as provided by the board. As evidence of compliance with specific requirements of this chapter, the board may accept the most recent study report, site visit report, and final decision letter from the accrediting body. The board may require additional information or a site visit to ensure compliance with requirements of this chapter. If accreditation has been withdrawn or a program has been placed on probation by the accrediting body, the board may require a survey visit. If a program fails to submit the documentation required in this subdivision, the requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection shall apply.

D. Interim site or survey visits shall be made to the institution by board representatives at any time within the initial approval period or full approval period as deemed necessary by the board. Prior to the conduct of such a visit, the program shall submit the fee for a survey visit as required by 18VAC90-27-20.

D. E. Failure to submit the required fee for a survey or site visit may subject an education program to board action or withdrawal of board approval.

18VAC90-27-230

18VAC90-27-230. Continuing and withdrawal of full approval.

A. The board shall receive and review the self-evaluation and survey reports required in 18VAC90-27-220 B or C or complaints relating to program compliance. Following review, the board may continue the program on full approval so long as it remains in compliance with all requirements in Parts II (18VAC90-27-30 et seq.), III (18VAC90-27-150 et seq.), and IV (18VAC90-27-210 et seq.) of this chapter.

B. If the board determines that a program is not maintaining the requirements of Parts II, III, and IV of this chapter or for causes enumerated in 18VAC90-27-140, the board may:

1. Place the program on conditional approval with terms and conditions to be met within the timeframe specified by the board; or

2. Withdraw program approval.

C. If the board either places a program on conditional approval with terms and conditions to be met within a timeframe specified by the board or withdraws approval, the following shall apply:

1. No further action will be required of the board unless the program requests an informal conference pursuant to §§ 2.2-4019 and 54.1-109 of the Code of Virginia.

2. If withdrawal or continued program approval with terms and conditions is recommended following the informal conference, the recommendation shall be presented to the board or a panel thereof for review and action.

3. If the recommendation of the informal conference committee is accepted by the board or a panel thereof, the decision shall be reflected in a board order and no further action by the board is required unless the program requests a formal hearing within 30 days from entry of the order in accordance with § 2.2-4020 of the Code of Virginia.

4. If the decision of the board or a panel thereof following a formal hearing is to withdraw approval or continue on conditional approval with terms or conditions, the program shall be advised of the right to appeal the decision to the appropriate circuit court in accordance with § 2.2-4026 of the Code of Virginia and Part 2A of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

D. If a program approval is withdrawn, no additional students may be admitted into the program effective upon the date of entry of the board's final order to withdraw approval. Further, the program shall submit quarterly reports until the program is closed, and the program must comply with board requirements regarding closure of a program as stated in 18VAC90-27-240.