Saturday, November 3, 2007

This presentation is part of : Leadership in the Academic Setting
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Professional Accreditation: A National Study of Baccalaureate Nursing Programs
Frances Anne Freitas, MSN, Nursing, Kent State University - Ashtabula Campus, Ashtabula, OH, USA
Learning Objective #1: articulate perceived costs of accreditation from the perspective of baccalaureate nursing education administrators.
Learning Objective #2: articulate perceived benefits of accreditation from the perspective of baccalaureate nursing education administrators.

Abstract In the United States, higher education has come under public scrutiny as one in a number of possibilities for cutting governmental and educational costs. In the midst of national and international fiscal belt tightening is the public’s need to retrain for a changing economy, to do more with less, and to sustain and develop quality education and services. Accreditation is one quality indicator that is coming under review in an attempt to cut costs. In this causal comparative study, the cost and benefit of the professional accreditation process for baccalaureate nursing programs was articulated by baccalaureate education nursing administrators. The purpose of this study was to investigate and to compare administrator perceptions and observations about the cost and benefit of the accreditation process. The subjects were the identified leading baccalaureate nursing education administrators in charge of their respective nursing programs in the United States. A mailed survey was used to gather data. The survey was distributed to 693 subjects with a return rate of 56.7 percent. Data were analyzed using ANOVA for interval data. Frequencies, ranges and measures of central tendency were also identified. National results were broken down into regions of the country as identified by the U. S. Department of Education. Costs were identified and often cited as “the cost of doing business”. Specific costs were articulated and calculated from participant responses. Benefits were also identified and compared to costs. Administrators made recommendations for improvement in the accreditation process. Recommendations for improvement included decreasing the number of visits for historically successful programs, coordinating visits from accrediting and approval agencies, and the use of technology to decrease costs and increase access to visitors and reviewers.