Mars Hill University Nursing Program Receives Accreditation

The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Mars Hill University (Judge-McRae School of Nursing) is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
( The accreditation follows a site visit by CCNE last September to assess whether the program meets nationally recognized standards for nursing education. The CCNE accreditation, announced May 26, 2017, is retroactive to September 2016, and extends through June 2022.

“This means that students who graduate from Mars Hill University with a bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN) graduate from an accredited program; that is vital to the pursuit of a higher degree in nursing,” said Cathy Franklin-Griffin, dean and professor in Mars Hill’s Judge-McRae School of Nursing. Two cohorts of students have graduated from the university’s registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing (RN to BSN) program. Those graduates, who received their degrees in December 2016 and May 2017, fall under the period of accreditation, and now can say they graduated from an accredited program. The university’s first cohort of pre-licensure BSN students, along with a third cohort of RN to BSN students, will graduate in May 2018.

Franklin-Griffin thanked those who supported the Judge-McRae School of Nursing in its founding and pursuit of accreditation–including the university’s trustees and administration, advisory council, community partners, and donors. “Faculty and staff who came here for employment and students who came here for a nursing education took a leap of faith,” she said. “That leap of faith has paid off.”

The Judge-McRae School of Nursing offers classes in the RN to BSN program at Mars Hill’s Asheville Center for Adult and Graduate Studies. The pre-licensure BSN program is offered in the Ferguson Health Sciences Center on the main university campus. The center opened in fall 2016 and is named for Carolyn and Jack Ferguson of Candler, North Carolina, longtime university supporters who took a special interest in the new nursing program. The Judge-McRae School of Nursing is named for Norman and Linda Judge-McRae, owners of Caris Healthcare, a hospice care provider based in Knoxville, Tennessee. The McRaes, both graduates of Mars Hill, provided fundamental vision and financial support to begin the nursing program.