South Puget Sound Community College’s nursing program is taking steps toward national program accreditation through the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation.

Earning accreditation through the NLN CNEA — a new national accrediting body for all types of nursing programs — is an important next step for the program. Washington has set a requirement for the national accreditation of all nursing programs in the state by 2020.

A candidacy decision should be made by NLN CNEA before July 2017. Once initial candidacy is in place, the program will have up to three years to submit a self-study report and schedule an on-site program evaluation, which will determine permanent national accreditation of the program for up to six years.

The SPSCC program is the first in Washington to implement the new Associate of Nursing Direct Transfer Agreement degree. Last year, the program saw its first 26 graduates from the new program model — half of whom transferred directly into year four at a university.