Regulation and accreditation body
According to the illustrated oxford dictionary, to regulate means to control by rule. A regulatory body then means a body that has the role of controlling and ensuring that its subject adapts to some established requirements. In regard to a nursing faculty, a regulatory body has the responsibility of ensuring the faculty operates within the confines of the established regulations and rules. Turning to accreditation, the same dictionary defines the term accredit as to recognize officially.
The official authorization or status granted by an agency other than a state board of nursing” (NCSBN, 1994,P. 2) Or it is the “ the recognition of an institution of learning as maintaining prescribed standards requisite for its graduate to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice”(American Heritage Dictionary, 1993, P. 122) When a faculty or institution is accredited, it means it is officially recognized. For a faculty to be accredited, it must first meet set standards and pass a stated criteria.
From here then we can say that on accreditation body has the purpose of ensuring that the faculty in all its work meets some set standards before it gives it an official recognition. Such a faculty’s certification is recognized and trusted. Put differently, an accreditation body does the authentication in order to maintain the highest level of compliance with all regulations to which it is subject. A nursing faculty operates under regulatory bodies that could be nationally mandated or mandated by any other institution of a higher authority.
The faculty is also regulated by internal policies and procedures. The regulation body oversees and approves all faculty programs to ensure that they do not fall short of the set standards. Here, the body ensures that the curriculum is up-to-date and produces competent nurses. The regulatory bodies above the faculty provide guidelines and protocols for all faculty activities. “Violations of federal regulations or university policy can result in loss of privileges … and cancellation of grants by federal and private funding agencies” (USA college of medicine. Faculty reference manual, 1996).
The Health Professional’s Act (HPA) is the umbrella legislation that provides a common regulatory structure for British Columbia’s Health Professions. In 2005, the registered nurses and nurse practitioners regulations under the health professional’s act were enforced. The HPA and the regulation give the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC) the authority to set, monitor and enforce standards, limits and conditions for registered nurse practice.
CRNBC regulates the nursing faculty and some of the regulated areas include: reserved titles, the body demands that nurses practice standard by using appropriate titles and the regulation protects these three titles: registered nurse, licensed graduate nurse and nurse. On scope of practice, the body defines standards, limits and conditions for nurses. Here, the body states the activities which nurses are educated and authorized to perform which are established through the legislated definition of registered nurse practice and complemented by CRNBC standards, limits and conditions.
On reserved actions, the body defines them as clinical activities that present a significant risk of harm and are therefore assigned by government to specified health professionals only. The body states a desired and achievable level of performance against which performance can be compared (standard), specifies what registered nurses are not permitted to do (limit) and sets out the circumstances under which registered nurses may carry out an activity (condition). The regulation sets out three kinds of practice, which are general practice, certified practice and nurse practitioners practice.
In British Columbia, there are different levels of control for registered nurses. The broad foundational level is the regulation with subsequent levels narrowing practice to the individual registered nurse level. (Scope of practice for registered nurses: standards, limits, conditions P. 5). As we can see, there is a hierarchy that governs nurses in British Columbia. A regulatory body has the role and purpose of developing new and advancing existing nursing policies, which govern the faculty. This helps in enhancing opportunities for nurses to demonstrate their continued competence through competent certification program.
Let us consider an accreditation body-National league for nursing commission (NLNAC). NLNAC is the nationally recognized accrediting agency for all types of nursing programs. For a body to be given the responsibility of accreditation, it must, in turn, be in full compliance with all the department of education (DOE) criteria for recognition. Accreditation is a voluntary process by which associations recognize educational programs or institutions that have been found to meet or surpass standards or criteria for educational quality.
Accreditation has the purpose of giving a program or institution official recognition. It is important to reiterate that, accreditation comes only after standards have been met or exceeded. This then helps a nursing faculty to improve its program in terms of resource investment, processes and result achievement with the aim of getting accreditation. Other benefits that come with accreditation include giving such a program or institution a cutting edge in education and training and hence become competitive in this area.
This accreditation body also does the work of monitoring certification, which is tied closely to state examination-licensing roles, and to the entire process of preparing for work in the profession. In summary, NLNAC gives interpretive guidelines for standards and criteria for the various programs in nursing. It also does team site visit for program evaluation. NLNAC also publishes accreditation manual directory of accredited programs, and prepares annual report and analysis. It also organizes forums on accreditation and self-study forums.
NLNAC uses a number of parameters in setting standards that ought to be observed or adhered to strictly. The parameters are mission/government, faculty, students, curriculum and instruction, resources, integrity and educational effectiveness. we can see the accreditation body sets standards and criteria for the nursing faculty to strive to meet in order to get the reputation mileage that comes with official recognition. A number of similarities exist in between the regulatory and accreditation work in nursing education. First, both have the overall goal of maintaining desired quality and standards in the nursing field.
When a nursing faculty is accredited, then it means it has meet or surpassed certain standards or criteria. Likewise, a regulatory body controls the entire program and ensures that up-to-date and acceptable standards are adhered to. Both use certain benchmarks to regulate and accredit. once a faculty is well regulated by a competent regulatory body, then there is no doubt that such a faculty will be officially recognized (accredited). The difference comes in where the regulatory body comes in first. A faculty must be well regulated for it to be accredited.
A regulatory body develops regulations that control and limit the faculties activities but the accreditation body may not do that. The accreditation body evaluates program or faculty on the basis of its standards and criteria and decides whether such a program merits an official recognition or not. While the regulatory body tries to control what the program does so that sub standard services are not provided to the students and those that will receive the nursing care from the graduates. Another difference is where accreditation may give reputation while regulation may not.
Also, a regulatory body may punish failure to comply while accreditation does not apart from denying official recognition. Any way, there is a narrow line dividing the two and at one point their purpose overlap though not as such. In conclusion both the regulatory and accreditation bodies are crucial in the nursing faculty since they help to establish, maintain and improved standards in the field. They also lock out those who main want to commercialize the nursing profession and therefore protecting the nobility of the profession.