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Programmatic Accreditation or Institutional Accreditation? - The Development of Accreditation in Nursing Schools


Rajab Dashti-Kalantar, Maryam Rassouli, Nasrin Elahi and Marzieh Asadizaker*

Background: One of the important criteria in nursing education is to present education based on educational standards. In this regard, using a model of quality assurance such as accreditation as one of the well-known models is of great importance. However, in many countries, the accreditation of nursing schools has not been operational.

Objectives: The present study was conducted with the aim of developing and implementing accreditation in nursing schools, in accordance with the 2030 agenda of World Health Organization.

Method: This research was conducted in two stages. The first stage was carried out in using a purposeful approach. The articles in Persian and in English that have been published during the last 15 years (2005-2019) were analyzed through relevant databases using proper keywords. Of the 32 relevant sources, 24 articles were excluded due to not meeting the inclusion criteria, and finally, 8 articles were included. In the second stage of this directed qualitative study, directed semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 experts in the field of nursing/ accreditation. The reliability and validity of the data was measured using Guba and Lincoln criteria. For data analysis, MAXQDA-10 software was used.

Results: The results of the study highlight the necessity of implementing the accreditation model in order to improve the quality of education for nursing students. Meanwhile, by approving both types of institutional and programmatic accreditation models, it also confirms the impact of many factors such as educational policies of societies, the role of government in the quality management, college conditions (being single-specialty or multi-specialty), and the history of accreditation. The participants were more inclined towards the institutional accreditation model in Iranian nursing schools, due to its better matching with the educational structure of the country.

Conclusion: In regard with the existence and importance of the standards associated with the basic structures and general processes of institutional accreditation model, it is recommended to apply an institutional model with the active participation of experts and executive managers, in order to commence the implementation of accreditation in developing and less-developed countries. Given the differences in the levels of education and executive capabilities, policymakers need to support the establishment and localization of the accreditation of nursing schools in accordance with WHO policies, in order to facilitate the training of competent nursing students in line with the community needs.

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Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research The Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research is a bi-monthly multidisciplinary medical journal.
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