VA-STEP Academic Requirements
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)
To be eligible to apply for your facilities VA-STEP program, you will need a minimum CGPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. CGPA must be computed on post-secondary academic work taken within the past 3-years or based on academic work accepted for credit towards a nursing/clinical laboratory science degree.
To be eligible to apply for your facilities VA-STEP program, your program of education must have an active accreditation as noted below:
NursesAn Accreditation Commission for Education (ACEN), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) accredited baccalaureate or generic equivalent nursing program for nursing students.
Medical Laboratory ScientistNational Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) baccalaureate, or generic equivalent Medical Technologist program for medical technology students.
Examples of Ineligible Program AccreditationsAccredited, on Probation; Accredited, on Warning; Accredited, Preliminary Status; Accredited, Provisional Status; Accreditation Withdrawal; Pre-Accreditation; Provisional Accreditation; Accreditation-Provisional; Accreditation-Probation; Accreditation-Administrative Probation; Continuing Accreditation with Warning; Denial Initial Accreditation; Denied Continuing Accreditation; Accredited with Probation; Precandidate; Probation; Involuntary Withdrawal of Accreditation; Withdrawal of Accreditation; Voluntary Withdrawal of Accreditation; Probationary Accreditation; Withdrawn; Candidate for Accreditation; Application for Candidacy Submitted; etc.
Validating Program AccreditationsUse the below site links to validate the program accreditation.
Accreditation Commission of Education in Nursing (ACEN)Normally, this is for program that are below the BSN level but some BSN level programs are accredited here: Search ACEN Accredited Nursing Programs (acenursing.com)
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)Most BSN and higher levels of nursing programs are accredited here: CCNE – Accredited Programs (ccnecommunity.org)
The National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)Validating this accreditation is a little more complicated as some schools don’t have a program accreditation through NAACLS but instead rely on the clinical programs location to have the appropriate level accreditation. Follow these steps to determine if your program is eligible:
First stop is the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) program accreditation site: https://www.naacls.org/Find-a-Program.aspx
If the Program is not accredited, then the next stop is the Department of Education database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs (https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/home). Here you will be searching the University/College Institution Accreditation. Most of the time, you are looking for at least a Higher Learning Commission institutional accreditation. If the university/college does not have an institutional accreditation, then the applicant is not eligible.
Even with an Institutional Accreditation, the program’s clinical program location must have a NAACLS accreditation. This may require research/inquiries into the school’s clinical program provider by sending the application back to the applicant with specific instructions to provide details about the MT program clinical provider. If the clinical program is cleared through NAACLS, then the application is good. If you cannot validate the clinical program accreditation, then the application does not need accreditation requirements.