By Matthew Hunter
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media
Midway University’s baccalaureate nursing program recently won re-accreditation through 2024.
This followed a visit in February from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, which granted the accreditation. According to ACEN, one of the factors nursing programs need to uphold in order to be accredited is exhibiting a “quality program.”
“Accreditation through ACEN is voluntary and recognizes educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality,” said the dean of Midway’s School of Health and Sciences, Dr. Barbara Kitchen.
Midway’s RN-BSN program, which has been accredited since 1992, is for registered nurses who want to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing. The program, one of just five accredited baccalaureate programs across Kentucky, provides graduates a smooth transition into more advanced course work.
According to Midway’s nursing site, the curriculum combines general-education classes with professional nursing theory, critical thinking and practicum experiences all while preparing students for the job market.
“Students receive classroom theory, learn skills in the nursing skills/laboratory and must pass ‘check-off’ evaluation of skills,” Kitchen said when asked how Midway’s nursing students are prepared for the field. “Then [they] have extensive clinical experience in hospitals throughout the program.”
Midway’s nursing program, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last spring, prepares students for nursing careers immediately following graduation. According to Kitchen, 97 to 100 percent of graduates in the program receive appropriate jobs with their nursing degrees. There are 18 students in the RN-BSN program now.
In the ACEN findings, Kitchen was noted as a strength of the program.
Kitchen has approximately 50 years of nursing experience and has been at Midway for 15 years. In 2004 she was named the chair of nursing and in 2015 she was named dean. She was also recognized as one of 50 distinguished graduates at the University of Kentucky’s celebration of National Nurse Practitioners Week.
“The experience of the nurse administrator and respect that college administrators and faculty campus-wide expressed for her are reflective of her commitment to quality and excellence, which has resulted in a culture of faculty availability and service to students," ACEN said.
Dr. Mary Elizabeth Stivers, vice president of academic affairs at Midway, said commended the nursing faculty and staff for their work: “Reaccreditation from ACEN affirms that our student-centered approach to nursing produces outstanding clinicians and leaders who are sought after by employers.”