FGCU won't accept Edison nursing students
Lack of accreditation limits grad school options
Four in your corner investigator matt grant showing what f-g-c-u has decided to do. Rember ashley blakely? She's the edison nursing student... Turned down by several graduate schools because they wouldn't recognize edison's un-accredited nursing prog Video by fox4now.comvideo
FORT MYERS - Without accreditation, Edison State College's bachelor of science in nursing students will have a tough time getting into some graduate schools - including one 20 minutes away.
Florida Gulf Coast University confirmed Thursday they will not accept nursing students into their grad school if their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree lacks national accreditation.
"We require that all students who apply to our programs...have graduated from a nationally accredited BSN degree program," said Mitch Cordova, dean of the college of professional health.
"Students who have graduated from BSN degree programs that aren't accredited by either NLNAC or CCNE would not meet the admission requirements," said Cordova, "regardless of what institution the students graduate."
The National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are the only two nursing accreditation bodies.
Even though accreditation isn't mandatory, many graduate schools in and out of state require it for admission. Edison is currently a candidate for accreditation through NLNAC.
FGCU isn't the only school making it tough for Edison's BSN nursing students looking to get into grad school.
In August, Fox 4 spoke with Ashley Blakely, an Edison BSN nursing student who said several Nevada-area grad schools rejected her because they wouldn't recognize Edison's non-accredited BSN nursing program.
Edison's associate nursing degree is accredited.
"It took an enormous amount of time to work to succeed," she told us. "And it's all wasted."
In interviews, the college has downplayed Blakely's rejection letters.
"At this time it's been very limited in terms of students who have not been accepted into their graduate school of choice," said Kristen Zimmerman, the dean of program development.
To prove their point, Edison officials sent Fox 4 a list of 16 colleges and universities which they say will consider Edison's BSN nursing students for acceptance into masters level programs, even without a national accreditation.
But a closer look at Edison's list raises some questions.
One school on their list, Drexel University, requires candidates for a masters in clinical trials research have a bachelors degree with a CCNE or NLNAC stamp.
Another school on their list, Graceland University in Missouri, has similar requirements. Nursing Dean Claudia Horton says it is "unlikely" they would accept a nursing student that graduated from a non-accredited program.
That's because on the Graceland admissions Web site, the university requires nursing candidates have a "Baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN) from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited program" - which Edison doesn't have.
Fox 4 reached out to all of the colleges on the list. All of the ones that got back to us, with the exception of Graceland University, said Edison's lack of accreditation would not factor into their admissions decisions.
An Edison spokesperson tells Fox 4 they has verbal and written guarantees from every college on their list.
Edison is "on track" to get their NLNAC accreditation by this spring. College officials say they are continuing to work with current and former students trying to get into grad programs.
Matt Grant, Reporter