UA Little Rock School of Nursing Earns ANCC Accreditation to Provide Continuing Professional Development Courses for Nurses

Dr. Sloan Davidson, director of the UA Little Rock School of Nursing, leads a group of nursing students who are training with the birthing manikin simulator in the UA Little Rock Center for Simulation Innovation. Photo by Ben Krain.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation has granted accreditation for nursing professional development to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Nursing. 

The School of Nursing’s Professional Development Center provides expert educational content delivered in multiple formats to meet the needs of healthcare professionals who are lifelong learners while fostering evidence-based practice for their patients.

Accreditation from ANCC demonstrates UA Little Rock’s commitment to using evidence-based criteria when developing high-quality educational activities that promote the professional growth of nurses. With this accreditation, UA Little Rock joins an influential global community of accredited organizations that offer continuing education for nurses in content areas such as clinical practice, leadership, certificate courses, quality improvement, and simulation with virtual reality options.

“We are so proud to be accredited by the American Nurses Credential Center,” said Dr. Elizabeth Sloan Davidson, director of the School of Nursing at UA Little Rock. “This organization represents the gold standard for continuing education for nurses. This accreditation signifies that UA Little Rock is a leader in the region for offering learning opportunities for our students, alumni, and healthcare providers in Arkansas. We are so thankful to the Blue & You Foundation for the support that made this all possible.”

The Professional Development Center in the School of Nursing is funded by a grant from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas to support continuing education for healthcare professionals in Arkansas.

UA Little Rock is now the third institution in Arkansas with ANCC accreditation including the University of Arkansas and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The continuing education courses are a great fit for nursing students and nurses who want to complete their continuing education hours, learn new skills, and earn certifications.

All of the Professional Development Center’s continuing education courses are currently offered online. In the future, the School of Nursing plans to offer some continuing education courses in a hybrid model utilizing the UA Little Rock Center for Simulation Innovation, a 20-bed state-of-the-art simulation hospital offering simulation-based clinical learning experiences in the Pat Walker Center for Nursing Education.

“With our state-of-the-art simulation center, made possible in part by earlier funding from the Blue & You Foundation, we are in a prime position to offer unique opportunities for hands-on application of new skills that will then provide a safer and even better quality healthcare experience for Arkansans,” Davidson said. “This accreditation will promote the professional growth of nurses in Arkansas as well as providing continuing education that will improve patient outcomes, encourage community health, and promote patient safety.”

The Professional Development Center also offers an opportunity for UA Little Rock nursing students to graduate with new skills that will make them stand out in the workforce.

“Our students can graduate already having skills, knowledge, and credentials that will give them a step-up in job readiness,” Davidson said. “Our ultimate goal is to graduate the best nurses that are the most equipped to take care of Arkansans.”

The ANCC Accreditation Model is based on the original Donabedian framework of structure, process, and outcome measures to evaluate quality. The ANCC standards provide organizations with a structured, evidence-based framework to design and implement NCPD activities. The development of quality outcomes ensures that accredited organizations continuously evaluate processes and their impact on the professional development of nurses.

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