New master’s degree program in nursing receives national accreditation

GOSHEN, Ind. – Goshen College’s graduate program in nursing has only been around for two years, but already the first class of graduate nursing students will receive a master’s degree from an accredited nursing program next year.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) recently announced that the college’s master’s degree program met all four of its accreditation standards with no compliance issues and will remain accredited for the next five years.

“To come to the completion of (the accreditation process) is very satisfying,” said Brenda Srof, director of the college’s graduate program in nursing. “It is a special honor to have received accreditation in full with no recommendations. This distinction speaks well of the hard work and excellence of the department of nursing, the students, the campus administration and the health care community.”

According to the CCNE, accredited programs must meet three standards for program quality that evaluate the program’s mission, institutional commitment and resources, and curriculum and teaching-learning practices. Programs must also meet a standard that focuses on the program’s effectiveness, which focuses on student performance and faculty accomplishments.

Goshen College Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Anita Stalter was pleased with the announcement and with the direction of the nursing program. “This graduate program builds on the tradition of excellence in Goshen College’s undergraduate nursing programs – both the traditional bachelor’s (B.S.N.) and the adult R.N. to B.S.N. programs,” she said. “We are very pleased with the academic quality of the program, the students enrolled who are seeking a graduate degree and the leadership and teaching that is being provided by the director and nursing faculty.”

There are 22 students in the master’s degree program for nursing. Of those students, 14 are on track to receive their degrees next spring.

“It’s a mark of excellence,’ Srof said of the accreditation. “Graduation from an accredited program is necessary for advanced nursing certification and for application to doctoral programs in nursing.”

Srof also said that prospective students look to study in accredited programs as a measure of program quality. “Accreditation is a mark of a program’s good standing in the professional community,” she said.

The graduate program offers two tracks:  the family nurse practitioner track and the clinical nurse leader track. A family nurse practitioner provides basic health care such as physical exams, diagnosis and treatment of common acute illness, management of chronic health conditions and ongoing patient education. The clinical nurse leader oversees the care coordination of a distinct group of patients, providing direct patient care in complex situations.

“What we’re developing is thought leaders for the discipline of nursing and for the church,” Srof said.

Srof believes much of the success of the nursing department comes from its faculty members. “We have excellent faculty members here. We offer close one-on-one relationships with students,” she said. “We provide students with faculty members that meet all the specialty needs.”

Since 1950, when the Goshen College nursing program became the first liberal arts college in Indiana to offer a bachelor of science degree in nursing, more than 1,600 graduates have established themselves in successful careers as registered nurses.

-By Tyler Falk

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit