ACEN, the leading authority for nursing education accreditation
Bridges / September 2018 / Volume XII / Issue 4
Season's Greetings

The Commissioners and staff of the ACEN would like to wish you


Season's Greetings

Thank you to all ACEN accredited and candidate nursing program faculty and administrators for a wonderful year!

With much excitement we look forward to continue working with you in 2019.

Back row (from left): Lori Sharpe, Sarah Fearing, Matt Middlebrooks, Corwyn Bellavich, Greg Donaldson, Vishal Patel.

Middle rows (from left): Brittany Shiggs, Jessica Dermody, Katrina Woody, Michaela Belgrave, Jocelyn Pineda, Christine Favole, Quinda Barrett, Suzette Farmer (L), Keri Nunn-Ellison, Marcy Stoll, Nell Ard, Sharon Beasley.

Front row (from left): Alex Mariquit, A'Leyah Finley, Coleman Williamson, Blu Nordgren.

2019 ACEN Self-Study Forum

Sunshine and CEs

Join us in Los Angeles in April

In 2019 the ACEN is offering two spring Self-Study Forums, and the luckiest attendees will be joining your ACEN staff in sunny Los Angeles at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Skip the winter blues this year and consume your daily dose of vitamin D by osmosis!

Additionally, we are offering a workshop for program administrators preceding the Self-Study Forum in Atlanta a few weeks prior. If you have been appointed as a new program administrator within the past three years or are new to ACEN accreditation, this workshop is for you!


Population Health and Nursing Education

By Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN

Chief Executive Officer, OADN

Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN

The Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) recently concluded their national convention in Philadelphia with the theme of Population Health: A Vision for Nursing Education. Dr. Sharon Beasley and Dr. Keri Nunn-Ellison from ACEN presented on this very timely topic with a session entitled, “Incorporating Population Health into Curricula and Outcomes Assessment.” Population health has never been more crucial in nursing education, practice, and healthcare in general than it is today. The health of the nation appears to be declining, with key health indicators dropping or lagging among some demographics, and yet, our country spends more on health care per capita than any other industrialized nation.

The focus of nursing assessment, intervention and evaluation in population health management is not at the individual or family level, even though population-based efforts may be implemented with an individual/family in mind. Rather, the key principle in population-based care draws a parallel from concept-based nursing: it uses evidence collected from individuals that is then aggregated to determine patterns that apply across populations and which would only be discoverable by examining the larger patterns and trends.

Often, it is the perception that population health is not addressed in the associate degree nursing (ADN) curriculum. However, in a recent survey conducted by the OADN, we see strong evidence of creative strategies for incorporating population health concepts and learning experiences into ADN education. In many ways, ADN programs are prime exemplars of integrating population health competencies. The majority of ADN programs are located in communities. Indeed, OADN is dedicated to the integration of population health into the ADN education programs through a variety of approaches. This is demonstrated through OADN’s partnership with the American Red Cross that provides a venue for member schools to partner at the local level to provide clinical experiences and academic service learning (ASL) experience opportunities.

OADN recently published a position paper on Population Heath because this concept is so important in nursing education. For nursing education, particularly within associate degree curricula, population health is defined as learning activities that “address the assessment, intervention, and evaluation of populations impacted by social determinants of health, how health information and healthy behaviors is promoted to populations, how disease can be prevented through public education and policy influencers, and the nature, types and sources of evidence used to measure the overall health and wellbeing of a community and the populations contained therein. Population-based evidence guides individual and family care, frames the importance of patient/family education, and informs the need for discharge planning and referrals to community-based support services. Learners are exposed to the methods used by scientists who collect and stratify data to create the body of knowledge needed for evidence-based practice, yet it is beyond foundational nursing education to design, analyze, interpret, and draw conclusions from population data.”

Population health has a dedicated focus on health promotion and disease prevention and the ability to aggregate the care provided in individual clinical events to the patterns of care that transcend to meet the needs of populations. This enriched perspective adds depth and breadth to nursing judgment. Nurses who apply this community perspective can do so in any clinical setting, using evidence-based practice and epidemiologic-based critical thinking, focusing on prevention and documenting care with an eye toward their contribution to outcomes management.  It is imperative in our changing society and healthcare system that population health be addressed in all nursing curricula.


Final Call for Nominations

ACEN Board of Commissioners and ACEN Nominating Committee

Nominate someone today

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is seeking nominations for seven (7) Commissioners for the ACEN Board of Commissioners and one (1) member for the ACEN Nominating Committee. The ACEN values the perspectives of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences and seeks to include the broadest range of perspectives within the composition of the Board of Commissioners and the Nominating Committee.

ACEN Board of Commissioners

The Board of Commissioners is the governing board for the ACEN.

  1. One (1) nurse educator for a three-year term representing baccalaureate nursing programs
  2. Two (2) nurse educators for a three-year term representing associate nursing programs
  3. One (1) nurse educator for a two-year term representing associate nursing programs
  4. One (1) nurse educator for a three-year term representing diploma nursing programs
  5. One (1) nurse clinician/practitioner for a three-year term representing nursing service
  6. One (1) member of the public for a three-year term

See ACEN Policy #2 Representation on Site Visit Teams, Evaluation Review Panels and the Board of Commissioners for eligibility information to serve as a nurse educator, nurse clinician/practitioner, or member of the public.

See ACEN Policy #1 for Conflicts of Interest.

See ACEN Bylaws for role and responsibilities of Commissioners.

ACEN Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee prepares the slate of candidates for the ACEN Board of Commissioners from the nominations made. See ACEN Policy #1 for Conflicts of Interest.

  1. One (1) nurse educator, nursing clinician/practitioner, or member of the public for a three-year term

We encourage you to nominate a colleague or yourself for one of these important leadership positions. Nominations are open from October 1, 2018 and are due to the ACEN office by December 14, 2018. We hope you will consider serving in one of these essential roles in support of nursing education programs.

More information about the Board and Committee vacancies, the nomination process, and the application materials that are required is available on the ACEN website at

The ACEN Cares

All year, the ACEN tries to give back to its family of nursing programs by providing guidance and one-on-one assistance. But what you may not know is that the ACEN gives back in many other ways.

The ACEN staff participates in a staff development day; and, each year, the goal is to not only bring the staff closer, but also either help the surrounding Atlanta community or our constituents. This year, the staff development focused on polarity thinking with Dr. Elizabeth Monroe-Cook in order to learn to better serve you. Polarity thinking encourages individuals and groups to focus on the both/and method of problem solving rather than the either/or method. Either/or thinking can often create two seemingly opposing values; however, when polarity thinking is applied, these values can complement one another. The ACEN staff intends to apply Dr. Monroe-Cook’s teachings to many of the challenges we face on a daily basis, such as how to be an innovative organization without losing stability or altering our identity. We hope that this new method of problem solving will be far-reaching and allow us to better guide you through the various challenges you encounter as nurse educators.

This year also marked the beginning of new traditions. In July 2018, many nurse educators from around the world gathered for the first annual ACEN accreditation conference! During this three-day gathering, in addition to the professional development on wide-ranging topics related to the accreditation of nursing programs, we also focused on the health of our participants with a fun and competitive step challenge complete with a sunrise morning walk.

Finally, we’ve arrived at the holiday season where giving back is most often seen. For the ACEN, while we try to give back all year, the holidays are our favorite time to affect change in our community—the greater Atlanta area. In previous years, we’ve adopted families from homeless shelters and battered women’s shelters. This year, we wanted to stay a little closer to our nursing family by giving to the Ronald McDonald Homes of Atlanta.

If you’re unfamiliar, Ronald McDonald houses can be found around the country and are known for providing meals, goods, and a place to stay for families whose children are hospitalized. For many in our office, Ronald McDonald has touched our lives, either through volunteering or personal need.

From encouraging our staff to work better together in order to better serve you to providing resources for families in need, the ACEN is here to serve. We hope that our choices to give back brightens your day.

Seasons Greetings!

Do you spread holiday cheer? We’d love to hear if you do. Tag us on Instagram using #ACENCares to show us your best holiday spirit.

Updates From Headquarters
Nominate someone for the ACEN Lifetime Achievement Award

The ACEN is seeking nominations for extraordinary individuals who have made indelible contributions to nursing education, nursing practice, and/or accreditation over a sustained period of time.

Take a minute to nominate someone today!

Register for #2019ACEN today!
You have a voice: Become an ACEN Peer Evaluator
Events & Appearances: Where to See & Hear ACEN

March 13, Atlanta

What: Effectively Leading an ACEN-Accredited Program: A Workshop for Program Administrators

Where: Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia


March 14 - 15, Atlanta

What: Spring 2019 Self-Study Forum, plus a post-session CEU opportunity, "Taking it to the Next Level: Tackling Standards 4 and 6 Head On"

Where: Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia


March 31 - April 3, Savannah

What: National Nurse Educator Summit

Where: Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa in Savannah, Georgia


April 4 - 7, Atlanta

What: 2019 NONPF 45th Annual Conference, DNP 2025: Making the Vision a Reality

Where: Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia


April 11 - 12, Los Angeles

What: Spring 2019 Self-Study Forum, plus a post-session CEU opportunity, "Taking it to the Next Level: Tackling Standards 4 and 6 Head On"

Where: Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California


July 18 - 20, Atlanta

What: 2019 ACEN Nursing Education Accreditation Conference

Where: Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia

Staff Spotlight: A'Leyah Finley
A'Leyah Finley

A’Leyah Finley joined the ACEN staff in July 2018, just two months after graduating from Georgia College and State University with dual degrees in rhetoric and liberal studies, with a concentration in women and gender studies. Originally from Racine, WI, A’Leyah comes from a family of nurses. That family history is what drew her to pursue a position with the ACEN. She tells us that “working with the ACEN felt like a good way to remain in the family business” while still being able to pursue her own passions.

A’Leyah’s primary responsibilities at the ACEN include formatting site visit reports before they are reviewed by professional staff, and electronic communication “with our wonderful constituents.” A’Leyah says that what she likes most about the ACEN is the small office and strong sense of family within the organization. “There’s a lot of support and I like that” she adds. In her free time she enjoys acrylic painting, playing with her two dogs and two cats, and sampling the variety of restaurants that Atlanta has to offer.

Ask ACEN: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does it mean to be an Observer on a Site Visit Team?

A: An Observer on a site visit team is a representative from a nursing program beginning its initial or continuing accreditation review process. The Observer accompanies the peer evaluators on a site visit team during the review of a nursing program’s accreditation site visit.

The Observer experience offers immersive engagement in site visit activities, such as attending interviews with college administrators, faculty, staff, and students; reviewing documents in the evidence room; touring educational and clinical facilities; and observing the site visit team’s interactions.

Seeking Volunteers for the ACEN Annual Conference

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850 | Atlanta, GA 30326 | (404) 975-5000 |

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