Nursing Accreditation

The New York State Board of Regents (Regents) was established by State Law in 1784 and was granted authority to accredit educational programs through a registration process in 1787. All educational and related institutions in the State are under the leadership of the Regents.

The Regents oversee the education, licensure, practice, and conduct of practitioners in 53 licensed professions. The Commissioner heads the Education Department, as the executive administrative arm of the Board of Regents. The Education Department has the responsibility of administering and implementing the policies established by the Regents. Nursing schools and nurse education programs that lead to the associate degree, baccalaureate and graduate degrees are included in the Regents' scope of recognition.

The Secretary of Education first recognized the Regents as a State agency for the approval of nurse education programs in 1969. The Regents have received periodic renewals of recognition since that time.

As noted on the United States Department of Education’s (USDE) website, “The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.”  Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency.  The U.S. Secretary of Education also recognizes State agencies for the accreditation of public postsecondary vocational education and nurse education. These agencies must meet the Secretary's criteria and procedures for such recognition and must undergo review by the National Advisory Committee.  Since 1969, the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York has been recognized by the USDE as an agency under this provision.  The New York State Education Department’s Division of Professional Education (PEPR) within the Office of the Professions (OP) is responsible for the administrative and professional oversight of nursing education in New York.  Through these actions, the Board of Regents has maintained its recognition as an accreditation agency for nursing education, a designation that identifies the Board of Regents as an authority on the quality of nursing education programs in New York.

The framework for evaluating the quality of nursing programs registered in New York State are derived from the Commissioner’s Regulations, Parts 50 and 52, the Rules of the Board of Regents, Education Law, and USDE accreditation standards as well as professional standards. On initial approval and periodically thereafter the standards for administration, faculty, resources, curriculum, admissions, and student information are assessed through a set of quality indicators (criteria). Re-registration is contingent upon the determination of compliance with the standards. The Regulations provide a process for denying program approval. Additionally, the PEPR unit monitors national licensure data, annual program reports detailing admissions, enrollments, faculty resources, curriculum and financial resources; and, approves substantive changes to registered programs.

Nursing programs that are registered and accredited in the State of New York by this office have used the Board of Regents recognition to access Title IV funds for their students.  While nursing schools can seek regional accreditation, and other specialized accreditation, it is not required for participation in federal financial aid. Not all nursing program accreditation agencies are authorized as Title IV gatekeepers.  Additionally, regional and specialized accreditation is a costly process, whereas there is no cost to the schools for the New York State Education Department’s services.  Those New York State programs approved and registered by the Department may state, “Accredited by the New York State Board of Regents”.

Any questions regarding a nursing program’s approval and registration status can be made by contacting this office by email at OPNURS@nysed.gov or by calling 518.474.3817 ext.360.

Last Updated: March 10, 2020