Accreditation: My Story
I attended Bob Jones University for two years as a nursing major. I wasn’t even going to consider BJU until I heard that they were accredited. At the time, I had no idea about the differences between national and regional accreditation. During a freshman meeting, my parents talked face to face with the nursing program director about my plans to attend anesthesia school once I graduated to become a CRNA. My dad asked her if there would be any problems with that, and she looked him right in eye and told him that BJU was highly respected. She had ample opportunity to tell us we might want to check some things out and make sure grad school would work for me--but she didn't say a word. So, we believed her for a while.
About a week later, the nursing freshmen were required to attend a meeting where it was revealed to us that the nursing program was not accredited. I had assumed that since the school was "accredited" the nursing program would be too, but that's not the case. They are approved through the SC State Board of Nursing to allow their graduates to sit for the NCLEX exam, but are not accredited via the NLN or CCNE. However, all the students were assured that although we could not practice nursing in the military (first time I was made aware of that “little” caveat) and attend one particular grad school, anywhere else should be just fine. I believed them for a while, but during the second semester of my sophomore year I decided to contact some anesthesia schools to see if my unaccredited nursing degree was actually as acceptable as the nursing program at BJU said it was. I was shocked when only 2 out of about 20 schools (this includes every possible school in the south around BJU) said they might consider me. Realizing that it would be absolutely idiotic to limit myself to the mercy of two schools for a highly competitive graduate program, I transferred to a regionally accredited state university with an accredited nursing program. None of my credits transferred due to BJU’s national accreditation.
I am extremely disappointed with BJU. I do not care what kind of accreditation they have or do not have, but I do care that they completely glossed over the ramifications of national accreditation and the lack of accreditation for a nursing degree. I would advise prospective students to do their homework on accreditation before choosing to attend BJU, and to not rely on what they tell you. The thought never crossed my mind that an institution so outspoken about God would be nothing less than upfront with me about their accreditation. I was wrong.