McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Collaborative nursing program earns top marks

Published: September 10, 2007
Collaborative nursing - nursing student with patient
Nursing student with patient.

A program that combines the best of nursing education of McMaster University, Mohawk and Conestoga colleges has earned the highest level of accreditation possible from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN).

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program and its curriculum, offered by a consortium of the three schools, has earned a seven-year accreditation from the association. Schools of nursing must be accredited for graduates to be eligible to write their registration examination to become registered nurses.

"The McMaster nursing degree is recognized for its excellence, and this is the result of the strengths of all three institutions working together to produce exceptional nursing graduates," said Catherine Tompkins, associate dean, nursing for McMaster University and director of the consortium. "We are very pleased that CASN recognized this through the accreditation process."

The four-year collaborative nursing degree program was first offered in 2001, and held candidacy status until the accreditation process was complete. The program is unique, as the first in Ontario to have a fully integrated curriculum for all students at the three sites. There are currently 630 students at the McMaster site, 610 at Mohawk and 430 at Conestoga.

The accreditation process identifies a program's strengths and areas for improvement. A team of writers prepared a series of reports nearly a foot thick for review by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. An accreditation team from the association also spent a week conducting on-site interviews with senior leadership, faculty and students.

"We're just delighted," said Mary Guise, Mohawk College's associate dean of the BScN program. "The seven-year accreditation speaks to the strength of our program and validates that together we're better than the sum of our parts."

"This program combines teamwork, institutional co-operation, quality curriculum and instruction, and a strong commitment to professional standards and practices," said Lois Gaspar, Conestoga's chair of nursing programs. "Everyone involved has worked very hard to attain accreditation, and we all feel a great sense of satisfaction in this achievement."

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