New MSN for Nurse Educators Program at Bethel College Awarded Candidacy Status

The master's in science in nursing for nurse educators (MSN) program at Bethel College, Mishawaka, Ind., has been awarded candidate status by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Dr. Patricia Forni, Chair of the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission presented Dr. Ruth Davidhizar, Dean of Nursing, and Dr. Karon Schwartz, MSN Program Director, with the Certificate of Candidate Status in Chicago, Ill., January 26, 2006.

"Candidacy status is a new dimension of accreditation that has just been added to the NLNAC accreditation process," noted Dr. Carol Gilbert, Deputy Director of the NLNAC. "Before a program can apply for candidacy status it must first demonstrate rigor in categories of faculty, curriculum and program resources. Candidate status provides the program and college with affirmation of upholding standards of quality. All programs must apply for candidacy status in order to meet the criteria for private accreditation. Candidate status was initiated in July of 2005. Bethel applied in November, 2005, and is the first nursing program to achieve this status."

"Dr. Schwartz and I have worked with Dr. Gilbert to meet the candidacy requirements and it is exciting that we are the first program to have completed the process and receive candidacy status," said Dr. Ruth Davidhizar, Dean of Nursing. "We are also grateful to our consultant, Doris Bartlett of Cassopolis, Mich. who has helped us immeasurably in this process. This affirms to our students and prospective students that we have a superior program and that the school is making every effort to have an NLNAC accredited program when they graduate. The timing is excellent since we are beginning to take applications for the fall 2006 class."

The MSN for nurse educators program began in the fall of 2004 after receiving accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Classes were accepted for fall of 2004 and for fall of 2005. Bethel graduates are prepared to serve as nursing educators in college and university settings with nursing students, or in health care agencies with patients, families or staff.

Dr. Karon Schwartz became the first graduate nursing program director in fall of 2005. She has substantial experience as a nurse clinician, nurse educator and nursing administrator. Her research area of expertise is related to health of the Amish. The 36-credit program utilizes an adult format with classes meeting one night a week.  

Nurses who wish to apply to the MSN for nurse educators program need three years of clinical experience and a BSN. Interested persons can contact Dr. Davidhizar at 574.257.2594 or Dr. Schwartz at 574.257.3382 or
e-mail An informational session/buffet showcasing MSN student projects in the past year will be held April 3, 2006 at 5:30 p.m. on the Bethel campus. Interested persons are invited to contact to reserve a space.  

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college of the arts and sciences offering associates, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 50 areas of study. The current enrollment of 1,964 includes students from 34 states, 17 countries, more than 20 denominational affiliations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. Bethel offers classes at four satellite locations, as well as its Elkhart campus. The main Bethel campus is situated on 75 wooded acres in Mishawaka, Ind.