Dr. Pam Simmons, director of Northwestern State University’s College of Nursing, has been elected to the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) board, the premier accrediting organization for nursing programs.
Elected by national ballot of accredited nursing programs, Dr. Simmons will represent faculty on the national board.
“I am honored and very excited about the opportunity to serve in this new capacity. “CCNE serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. CCNE represents excellence and I am delighted to be a part of such a organization. As a Northwestern faculty, I know we are all about excellence in our nursing programs and having CCNE accreditation helps us maintain that focus and accountability.”
Simmons has served in a number of CCNE roles since she was trained as a CCNE evaluator in 1996 and for the past several years, has served as team leader during on-site visits. In addition, she currently has the privilege of serving on the Accreditation Review Committee (ARC) with a group of nursing professionals from across the nation.
“While I have never been a dean, I do believe my experience as the senior director for the College of Nursing, working closely with the dean, has provided me ample opportunity to understand the administrative side of things while remaining cognizant of the faculty role as I continue to teach in both graduate and undergraduate courses,” she said. “Those experiences at NSU and with CCNE should hopefully serve as a solid foundation as I begin in this new role as a member of the Board of Commissioners.”
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is an autonomous accrediting agency contributing to the improvement of the public’s health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education programs and nurse residency programs. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and nurse residency programs.
NSU also has three additional faculty members who act as evaluators for CCNE. Those are Dr. Norann Planchock, Dean Emeritus; Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, and Katheryn Arterberry, associate professor.