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Florida Southern College Earns National Accreditation for DNP and APRN Nursing Programs

Jun 11, 2021

The Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida Southern College has received national accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) programs. Additionally, Florida Southern’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program was re-accredited.

“This is wonderful news for our students, faculty, and alumni,” said Dr. Anne B. Kerr, president of Florida Southern College. “We have made a concerted effort to develop the best and brightest students in the nursing field, and this accreditation process now allows students to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and a doctoral degree in the same supportive setting.”

The CCNE, officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing. The results of the yearlong accreditation process were announced earlier this week, and are retroactive to October 2020. The initial certification of the DNP and APRN programs extends through 2025, while the re-accreditation of the MSN program carries through 2030.

Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report included Florida Southern College’s MSN program in its Best Graduate Schools guide.

The DNP program enrolled its first cohort in 2019, with the first graduation slated for August 2021. One of only 15 such programs in the Sunshine State, the DNP program at FSC is a leadership-focused post-master’s program of study designed to prepare graduates in healthcare policy and advocacy, finance, information systems, project management and organizational leadership. Emphasis is on the application of evidence for the improvement and enhancement of patient care and healthcare delivery systems.

“Our DNP graduates are able to drive practice improvements through their additional experience,” stated Dr. Linda Comer, dean of the Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences. “We focus on systems and organizational leadership in nursing, providing the skills to implement evidence-based solutions.”

The APRN certificate program began in 2004 at Florida Southern as Nurse Practitioners. The CCNE did not require accreditation of post-master’s APRN certificates until recently, and this was Florida Southern’s first opportunity to apply for this acknowledgment of excellence.