Board members also noted that the school didn't provide oversight to educational and clinical sites or communicate adequately with students, according to a Feb. 25 letter to Dr. Susie Wilson, director of Salem International's nursing program.
The board recently agreed to continue Salem's provisional accreditation. Students currently enrolled in the nursing program are allowed to continue, but the school is forbidden from admitting more students.
Rhodes said the "board is a fair board and so they listened to what Salem had to say" and allowed nursing students to stay enrolled.
Besides Mountain State and Salem, Rhodes said, the board has not pulled accreditation from any other West Virginia nursing schools in her 21 years with the agency.
Schools are given opportunities to correct deficiencies before a program is closed, she said.
"So it isn't one thing goes wrong and a program is closed," Rhodes said. "Programs can correct and show improvement and consistently comply with the laws and rules."
Rhodes couldn't say if troubled nursing schools are cutting corners in an effort to produce more nurses and, in turn, better deal with nursing shortages.
It's fair to expect that nursing schools graduate students who are going to be competent nurses, she said.
"The board's role in public protection often calls for difficult decisions to be made," Rhodes said. "Those decisions are for the best interest of the public and, in the case of nursing programs, the students."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.