Posted on March 7, 2022

VCC Practical Nursing program first in Canada to earn CASN accreditation

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to announce that its Practical Nursing (PN) program is the first of its kind to earn accreditation from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN).

Since 1987, CASN accreditation is reserved for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) programs, and VCC’s BScN program first obtained it in 2016. In 2021, a pilot project opened CASN accreditation to PN programs as well, and VCC’s department leader Janita Schappert registered immediately.

“CASN is a feather in our cap,” says Janita. “It lets students know this is a program of excellence.”

The CASN review process covers two areas: the education programs themselves, and the educational unit, or the facilities, equipment, and resources that support the nursing education.

At VCC, all programs are reviewed and renewed on a regular basis, and the PN program’s previous renewal was in 2019. Thanks to this recent reporting work, VCC’s CASN application was approved with no deficits or clarifications and granted the maximum seven-year accreditation.

“All of our faculty were involved; that’s 40 people,” says Janita about the year-long process. “It was a lot of work but going through, but really validated how great of a program we deliver.”

Regarding the CASN educational unit (facilities/resources) assessment, specific feedback from CASN has prompted VCC’s nursing programs to invest in a simulation coordinator – an expert in operating VCC’s large collection of Hi-Fi training manikins. “This position will free up our instructors to teach and engage PN students with critical thinking instead of operating this highly technical equipment,” says Janita.

Other upcoming improvements as recommended by CASN involve VCC’s nursing student registration process and other support services. “This kind of rigorous process is beneficial for all programs in delivering quality education,” says Janita.

Learn more about the many rewarding and in-demand careers in health care by exploring VCC’s Health Sciences programs.