Nursing programs receive coveted 10-year accreditation

Brenau University has been granted 10-year accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and post-master’s certificate in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner programs.

The reaccreditation of the BSN and MSN programs and new accreditation of the post-master’s certificate comes after a two-year review process that began in the fall of 2019. That was followed by an on-site evaluation of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing in the Ivester College of Health Sciences on Sept. 23-25, 2020.

In granting full accreditation for the maximum 10-year period, CCNE determined that Brenau’s programs met all four of its standards for program quality and effectiveness, including mission and governance, resources, curriculum and program outcomes. CCNE also found no compliance concerns in any areas for the programs, which are accredited through September 2030.

Troy Heidesch, director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, said the CCNE accreditation is a powerful representation of the quality of Brenau University’s nursing programs. 

“Our BSN and Accelerated BSN graduates over the past eight years have had high success rates in the National Council Licensure Examination, our graduate program and Family Nurse Practitioner program has consistently produced high pass rates above 90%, and our Acute Care Post-Master’s certificate has had a 100% pass rate since it started in 2017,” Heidesch said. 

“This is what happens when excellent faculty, robust student services, clinical placements with leading-edge health care partners and teamwork meet the quality education and exceptional students at Brenau.”

Heidesch said Brenau is in the process of getting an initial accreditation for its Doctor of Nursing Practice program, with site visits scheduled for this fall.

Officially recognized by the U.S. secretary of education as a national accreditation agency, 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, graduate and residency programs in nursing.

Gale Starich, dean of the Ivester College of Health Sciences, said the CCNE accreditations exemplify the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing’s mission to prepare professional nurse leaders by challenging students to be globally aware, embrace lifelong learning, enhance health and be extraordinary practitioners of the art and science of nursing.

“Dr. Heidesch and his faculty did a very deep and collaborative evaluation of their curricula, clinical experiences and success outcomes, including both the National Council Licensure Examination success and professional attainment of our graduates,” Starich said. “Their work is especially pertinent given the changing expectations for nursing program graduates at all degree levels. 

“A 10-year accreditation reflects both successfully addressing the current CCNE accreditation standards but also having the ability to evaluate and institute curricular changes as patient care continues to evolve and improve. This is an extraordinary vote of confidence from CCNE that the faculty of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing are qualified and trusted to lead these efforts in Georgia and nationally.”

Brenau’s nursing students have opportunities to work with state-of-the-art human patient simulators, study internationally and collaborate on interdisciplinary projects that impact patient care in a rapidly changing health care environment. Over the past year, Brenau nursing and physician assistant students and faculty have also made a lasting and meaningful impact by helping to administer more than 10,000 COVID-19 vaccines on campus and in the community. 

“I am proud of the work of Dr. Heidesch and his team on achieving this accreditation milestone, which reaffirms Brenau’s commitment to providing exceptional educational opportunities in our in-demand nursing programs,” Brenau President Anne Skleder said. “This recognition by CCNE is also a reflection of our dedicated faculty and their efforts to prepare future nurses who will provide quality health care in their communities for years to come.”

For more information about the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, visit

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