Decision factors related to dual accreditation of associate degree nursing programs

Date of Completion

January 1992


Education, Administration|Health Sciences, Nursing|Education, Higher




This study examined weights accorded decision factors in choices of dual versus regional accreditation made by directors of associate degree nursing programs in American colleges and universities. Administrators are pivotal in decisions to seek dual accreditation, i.e., accreditation by both regional associations and the National League of Nursing. Barely two-thirds of associate degree programs have dual accreditation although there is almost universal agreement that such accreditation enhances these programs immeasurably. Failure to seek dual accreditation by such a large number of programs is a cause for concern.^ Directors of all associate degree nursing programs in the country (N = 840) were asked to complete a Likert-type questionnaire soliciting ratings of decision factors used in choosing to seek--or not to seek--dual accreditation. The influence of type and size of institution on responses was tested.^ A total of 680 usable returns comprised the sample for the study. Rank ordered means and standard deviation, along with one-way analysis of variance and Scheffe a posteriori tests, comprised the principal statistical applications for the study.^ Leading decision factors in failure to seek dual accreditation included belief that costs far outweigh the benefits of dual accreditation, failure of support on the part of central office administrators, and a firmly held belief that specialized accreditation, over and above regional association approval, is simply not necessary. These findings were pronounced among small private colleges.^ The data suggest that the National League for Nursing must focus more on benefits accruing to graduates of dual accredited programs. Research needs to be completed to identify these benefits and the results must be made clear to directors of programs without dual accreditation and to administrators of schools housing these programs. ^