Barton Community College’s Nursing Associate Degree Program has been awarded full accreditation through 2022 by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) as of March of 2017.
The accreditation means Barton’s program meets the six standards set forth by ACEN, which are to have a strong mission and administrative capacity, sufficient quantity of qualified and credentialed faculty, appropriate student policies and high caliber support services, curriculum relevant to contemporary health-care environments, sustainable and sufficient fiscal, physical and learning resources and strong learning outcomes.
The accreditation process is rigorous and intense, said Executive Director of Nursing and Healthcare Education Kathy Kottas. It includes two 100-page reports, and a three-day on-site program review.
“This is an extremely time consuming and arduous process and our faculty have all worked countless hours to evaluate, support and improve our nursing program to meet all of the standards for national accreditation,” Kottas said. “We have an incredible nursing faculty team and I am extremely proud of all of their work on this accreditation process and their support of each other through this process. It has been exemplary.”
Kottas said it’s easy to find purpose in her work at Barton as a producer of qualified healthcare professionals in a rural area.
“You cannot walk into any hospital within approximately a 90-mile radius and not find a Barton grad,” she said. “We feel a strong sense of responsibility to our communities, our students and our profession to provide high quality, safe and competent nurses.”
Barton’s program produces about 30 licensed practical nurses and 30 registered nurses each year. Kottas said numbers are not the goal. Rather, they are an indication of the nursing faculty’s commitment to the learning process.
“We strive to provide the highest quality education to our students and want to set them up to be successful in the nursing profession,” she said. “We not only produce nurses that will care for our communities and our neighbors, but we produce nurses that will take care of us and our families. We want them to be compassionate, competent, safe and knowledgeable. We have highly qualified and caring nursing faculty that make this all come together. I personally think our faculty are second to none.”