- What is the difference between accreditation and licensing?
Though accreditation and licensing may have some similar aspects, both have different implications. According to the Council on Accreditation Blog, licensing is typically involuntary for individuals and institutions, it is a requirement to be able to perform an individual’s practice or for an institution to function according to its respective line of service. Having a license indicates that an individual or institution has the minimal competency to perform its practice, warranting the general public that their safety is secured. On the other hand, accreditation is described to be for the institution itself rather than the individual. It is to evaluate or verify whether an institution has met important standards. Some accrediting bodies that are familiar in the nursing practice and education include the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the National League for Nursing (NLN), American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
- The significant contrast between accreditation and licensing.
In accreditation, institutions go through a process wherein they are to be evaluated by a third party. The evaluation is to determine and assess if they have met pertinent standards. In contrast, licensing is to ensure that the individual of a certain profession possesses the minimum degree of competence to do their practice. Accreditation is a holistic and rigorous approach in assuring quality and safe services and may prove to have more benefits as service providers. It indicates that an institution may be credible and reliable in its services and what it has to offer.
- Why a license is not enough.
Though accreditation is not totally voluntary, it is still important. Individuals from programs or institutions that are not accredited may find it difficult to enter or be admitted to other establishments. Similarly, most often than not, nurses who graduate from an unaccredited program may find it difficult to be accepted in other institution for that very reason.
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