Edison admits nursing students 'misled' over lack of accreditation
Nursing program not accredited, students led to believe it was
Edison admits nursing students were misled over program's lack of accreditation Video by fox4now.comvideo
FORT MYERS - When Ashley Blakely enrolled in Edison's nursing program two years ago her class was assured one thing - the program was accredited.
"They absolutely stood there and said yes we are accredited," said Blakely.
The problem, a top Edison official confirms, is that their bachelor of science in nursing program was never accredited.
A spokesperson for the college now admits nursing students were misled.
"We have become aware that nursing students have been given inaccurate information with regards to our accreditation status for our four year BSN program," said college spokesperson Teresa Morgernstern.
It's a mix up that is costing Blakely who says five graduate schools turned her down because they wouldn't recognize Edison's nursing school.
In order to get her master's, she says she will have to re-do the last two years of her life at an accredited program.
"It will cost me upwards of $50,000 to complete it the right way," she said via Skype Saturday from her new home in Nevada.
The college says the nursing program is on track to become accredited by next spring.
In a statement Morgenstern say they are addressing the situation by working students who want to transfer to an accredited program at another college.
"We are [also] in the process of contacting students who have already graduated to offer assistance as they apply to master's programs," said Morgernstern.
While the college is offering to help, Blakely says it's too little too late. She's hired an attorney an plans to file a lawsuit.
"It took an enormous amount of invested time to work to succeed in this program," said Blakely. "And it's all wasted."
Fox 4 contacted the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), one of only two boards that accredits nursing programs. They say this could create all sorts of problems for students.
"It's possible that you might be able to practice in the state your degree was offered in," said Lore Schroeder, the associate director, "but that you would not then be able to sit for a licensure exam perhaps in another state."
The college says they are communicating with current students to keep them updated.
Fox 4 checked and FGCU's nursing program is accredited through the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Education officials say it's not uncommon for new programs to not be accredited since it takes time to prepare applications and meet national standards.
Read Edison's full response to our story:
We have become aware that nursing students have been given inaccurate information with regards to our accreditation status for our four-year, BSN program.
On April 12, 2011, we submitted our accreditation application to the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) for review.
Although national accreditation is not required, we have confirmed our commitment to seek NLNAC accreditation. Such accreditation will provide assurance to our students that they are receiving a quality education and the ability to advance their education to the master’s level.
We are in the process of communicating with our current students to give them accurate, up-to-date information.
For students who are near graduation and who wish to transfer to another college, we will work with them to help facilitate the transfer so that they graduate from a nationally accredited program. We are also in the process of contacting students who have already graduated to offer assistance as they apply to master’s programs.
Finally, we are also in the process of communicating with other colleges and universities to demonstrate that the coursework and learning outcomes we currently offer are consistent with NLNAC standards.
We are working diligently with the goal of obtaining the NLNAC accreditation in 2012.
MATT GRANT, REPORTER