Questions of quality surround a for-profit nursing college seeking expansion

The Arizona College of Nursing, a for-profit school based in Phoenix with additional campuses across 11 states, will soon open two locations in a 12th: Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Jan. 5. However, not everyone is keen on its expansion into Wisconsin.

The Arizona College of Nursing is slated to open a campus in Milwaukee in the spring of 2024 and one is planned to open in Madison in spring 2025.

School administrators are still working to iron out the final aspects before the opening, but its three-year, accelerated BSN program has received full approval from the Wisconsin Board of Nursing, the Journal Sentinel reported. 

However, the college is facing scrutiny from other groups in Wisconsin, including the Committee for Equity in Nursing Education, which filed a complaint in December to the Wisconsin Educational Approval Program over concerns about the program's quality. 

The school is accredited by both the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. However, a 70% program completion rate is one factor required for accreditation from the Commission and across all its campuses in 2022, the Arizona College of Nursing had a completion rate of only 65%, according to the Journal Sentinel.

In a previous presentation to the Wisconsin Board of Nursing, the Arizona College of Nursing reportedly cited personal reasons as the cause of 60% of non-completions. 

Becker's reached out to the Arizona College of Nursing to request a comment on the matter and is awaiting a response.

Questions about the quality of for-profit nursing programs have also cropped up this year for two other colleges. 

Aspen University in Phoenix avoided an abrupt shutdown from the Arizona Board of Nursing after being investigated for its program quality. 

Stone Academy, another for-profit nursing program with three campuses in Connecticut, shut down all locations following investigations by the board of nursing and state's department of higher education. Multiple lawsuits are ongoing related to its closure.

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