Conestoga news

September 10, 2007 9:59 AM

Collaborative nursing program earns top marks

HAMILTON - A program that combines the best of nursing education of McMaster University, Mohawk and Conestoga colleges has earned the highest level of accreditation possible from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN).

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program and its curriculum, offered by a consortium of the three schools, has earned a seven-year accreditation from the association. Schools of nursing must be accredited for graduates to be eligible to write their registration examination to become registered nurses.

"The McMaster nursing degree is recognized for its excellence, and this is the result of the strengths of all three institutions working together to produce exceptional nursing graduates,” said Catherine Tompkins, associate dean, nursing for McMaster University and director of the consortium. "We are very pleased that CASN recognized this through the accreditation process.”

The four-year collaborative nursing degree program was first offered in 2001, and held candidacy status until the accreditation process was complete. The program is unique, as the first in Ontario to have a fully integrated curriculum for all students at the three sites. There are currently 630 students at the McMaster site, 610 at Mohawk and 430 at Conestoga.

The accreditation process identifies a program’s strengths and areas for improvement. A team of writers prepared a series of reports nearly a foot thick for review by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. An accreditation team from the association also spent a week conducting on-site interviews with senior leadership, faculty and students.

"We’re just delighted,” said Mary Guise, Mohawk College’s associate dean of the BScN program. "The seven-year accreditation speaks to the strength of our program and validates that together we’re better than the sum of our parts.”

"This program combines teamwork, institutional co-operation, quality curriculum and instruction, and a strong commitment to professional standards and practices,” said Lois Gaspar, Conestoga’s chair of nursing programs. "Everyone involved has worked very hard to attain accreditation, and we all feel a great sense of satisfaction in this achievement.”

McMaster University, a world-renowned, research-intensive university, fosters a culture of innovation, and a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University, one of only four Canadian universities to be listed on the Top 100 universities in the world, has a student population of more than 23,000 and an alumni population of more than 125,000 in 125 countries.

Mohawk College annual serves 10,000 full-time, 3,000 apprenticeship and 300 international students, as well as 5,000 adult learners, and 42,000 continuing Education registrants. Mohawk offers more than 100 full-time programs and 1,000 Continuing Education courses to the communities of Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford and the surrounding region. Mohawk also celebrates the achievements of over 70,000 alumni.

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is one of Canada's premier polytechnic institutes, with a comprehensive array of programs in health sciences, community services, engineering technology, information technology, business, skilled trades, media studies, professional studies and preparatory studies. For three consecutive years, Conestoga has led all Ontario colleges in graduate employment success. Conestoga is also midwestern Ontario's largest source for part-time, career-related adult education courses and programs, as well as customized training services for business and industry. Conestoga's enrolment includes 8,000 full-time, 3,000 apprenticeship and 500 international students, plus 40,000 part-time registrants.


Veronica McGuire
Media Relations
Faculty of Health Sciences
McMaster University
T: 905-525-9140, ext. 22169
F: 905-529-3177

Jay Robb
Media Relations
Mohawk College
T: 905-575-1212 ext. 33965
F: 905-575-2032

John Sawicki
Public Affairs
Conestoga College
T: 519-748-5220, ext. 3336