June 2016

Volume X - Issue 02

Update on Revision of ACEN Standards and Criteria
The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is pleased to share that significant progress has been made by the committees reviewing the 2013 ACEN Standards and Criteria. Thank you to the 1075 individuals who viewed the draft revision during the first public comment period. We received a total of 3,092 comments, and the majority of them were overwhelmingly positive and supportive of the proposed changes to the Standards and Criteria. After thoughtful and thorough consideration of those comments from the first public comment period, the work groups made changes in the draft for the second public comment period. 
What happens next?
The second public comment period closes June 12, 2016. Please offer your thoughts on the proposed changes at www.acenursing.com/RevSC2013/. Proposed changes to the Standards and Criteria will be finalized after the second public comment period closes.
The ACEN Board of Commissioners will consider the proposed changes at its meeting on July 14-15, 2016. 
What happens if the ACEN Board of Commissioners approves changes?
If the Board approves changes, this information will be communicated to stakeholders soon after the Board meeting and the revised Standards will be known as the 2017 Standards and Criteria.
The 2017 Standards and Criteria will become effective January 1, 2017.
  1. All programs being reviewed from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 have the choice of being reviewed under the 2013 Standards and Criteria OR the 2017 Standards and Criteria. Programs must use either ALL of the 2013 Standards and Criteria or ALL of the 2017 Standards and Criteria. There cannot be "mixing and matching" between the 2013 Standards and Criteria and the 2017 Standards and Criteria.
  2. All programs being reviewed beginning January 1, 2018 will do so under the 2017 Standards and Criteria. 
The ACEN will publish a side-by-side comparison of the 2013 and 2017 Standards and Criteria reflecting a description of the changes. The side-by-side comparison will be available approximately August 1, 2016.
The ACEN will publish a PowerPoint presentation that will offer guidance to programs and peer evaluators on the application/implementation of the 2017 Standards and Criteria. The presentation will be available approximately October 1, 2016. All program evaluators will be required to view the presentation by December 31, 2016.
As always, ACEN professional staff are available to answer your questions. Please feel comfortable contacting us by email or telephone. www.acenursing.org/acen-staff-3/



Vote Now!
ACEN Board of Commissioners Elections
Open Through
July 31, 2016
The 2016 ACEN Board of Commissioners elections began on June 1, 2016. Votes may be cast until July 31, 2016, and newly elected members will take office October 1, 2016. 
The Nurse Administrator, as the ACEN-accredited program representative, received an email from BigPulse, a third-party election vendor that ACEN contracted to host the online election process. Though this email is a legitimate communication from ACEN, it may have been identified by some email filters as spam, so be sure to check for the email in your inbox folder, junk folder, or spam folder. The sender on this email will appear as "ACEN 2016 ELECTIONS," and the email will provide a link to the 2016 election ballot as well as general voting instructions. Please contact Stephanie Larson at (404) 975-5002 if you did not receive the email.
Voting privileges are assigned to programs rather than to governing organizations. Each accredited program will receive one vote. Nurse administrators of multiple programs will receive a separate email for each ACEN-accredited program. Please do not disregard these multiple emails as duplicates.
Please take advantage of this opportunity. Your Board of Commissioners are the individuals you elect to represent you in important matters such as making accreditation decisions, setting polices, and setting fees. Thank you for your participation in the election process. 



Publishing Student Outcome Data

As you know, at the March 3-4, 2016 ACEN Board of Commissioners meeting, ACEN Policy #29 Advertising and Recruitment of Students was approved by the Board. The ACEN Accreditation Manual was updated reflecting this change, and you may access the Accreditation Manual at www.acenursing.org/resources-for-nursing-programs/.
Policy #29 sets parameters for a governing organization/nursing program regarding advertising, publications, and promotional literature. Please note, nursing programs must now publish its student achievement data regarding graduates' success on the licensure and/or certification examination, students' completion of the nursing program, and graduates obtaining a job, as well as additional student achievement data as the governing organization/nursing program considers appropriate to demonstrate the extent to which graduates are adequately prepared. This information must be made publically available by July 1, 2016.
Guidelines for publishing these outcomes data are available on the ACEN website at www.acenursing.net/resources/GuidelinesStudentAchievementData_April2016.pdf.



What Do My ACEN Fees Pay For?
The mission of the ACEN is to support the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public by the functions of accreditation. The ACEN remains a wholly owned subsidiary of the National League for Nursing (NLN) and is a private, non-profit organization solely supported through fees paid by ACEN-accredited programs. One-hundred percent (100%) of the fees paid to the ACEN from ACEN-accredited programs supports only the accreditation functions performed by the ACEN. Additionally, ACEN-accredited programs do not need to be a member of any other organization to be accredited by the ACEN. 
The ACEN continuously looks for ways to reduce costs in order to maintain a fair and reasonable fee structure for programs. Fees directly support:
  • Accreditation activities such as site visits for initial and reaccreditation, focused visits, follow-up visits, the Evaluation Review Panel process, and the Board of Commissioners review process.
  • Training for site visitors, team chairs, and Commissioners.
  • Self-Study Forums and Nurse Administrator Workshops.
  • Participation in national organizations and meetings such as the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA), OADN national- and state-level, L.A.C.E., NONPF, The Campaign for Action, USDOE and CHEA activities, and others.
  • ACEN personnel (salary and benefits) who serve the ACEN-accredited and candidate programs.
  • Rent and utilities for the ACEN office located in Atlanta, GA.
  • IT infrastructure and tech support.
  • Currently, the ACEN is undertaking the implementation of  accreditation management software (AMS - similar to student information systems). The AMS will automate many processes and business practices; programs will be able to submit information electronically to the ACEN.
The ACEN appreciates the dedicated peer evaluators (approximately 600 during 2015) that give innumerable free volunteer hours that support the accredited and candidate programs and accreditation processes.

Featuring the 2017 Standards and Criteria



The Fall 2016 ACEN Self-Study Forums are scheduled for September 15-16, 2016 in Atlanta, GA, at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel and Conference Center and October 6-7, 2016 in Baltimore, MD, at the Lord Baltimore Hotel.  The Forums continue to be the best resource for programs planning for candidacy and initial accreditation as well as nursing administrators and faculty from all program types to learn about the accreditation process.  The Fall 2016 Forums will be offering a free special session to Forum attendees, A Focus on Standard 6 Outcomes in Atlanta and A Focus on Standard 4 Curriculum in Baltimore. 


For more information or to register, visit www.acenursing.org/self-study-forums/#refreshed.

ACEN Seeks Applicants for Associate Director


The ACEN is seeking applicants for an Associate Director. The Associate Director is a member of the professional staff of the Commission, appointed by and reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. This individual handles primary liaison responsibilities between currently accredited programs and those seeking accreditation.
This position affords a unique and rewarding opportunity for a qualified and experienced nurse educator or administrator to work with nursing education faculty to advance excellence, accountability, and continuous quality improvement in all types of nursing education programs.
More information regarding this position is available online at www.acenursing.org/acen-employment-associate-director-3/


Become an ACEN Program Evaluator


Being an ACEN Peer Evaluator is a rewarding opportunity and a way to be part of a quality improvement process through accreditation. Accreditation is one way that institutions and academic programs embrace quality assurance and improvement to become stronger and better institutions and programs. ACEN accreditation sets standards of educational quality specific to nursing education and peer evaluators assess the extent to which the program meets these expected standards. Peer evaluators make recommendations to the ACEN Board of Commissioners and are knowledgeable about common, contemporary, and best practices within the various program types, appropriate curricula, and conventions and current trends in healthcare, nursing education, and/or nursing practice.


Find out more about becoming an ACEN Peer Evaluator at www.acenursing.org/becoming-an-acen-peer-evaluator/.


Nominate someone to be an ACEN Peer Evaluator at www.acenursing.org/program-evaluator-nomination/.


Nominate a Colleague
to Serve as a
Public Member of
the Appeal Panel
The purpose of the Appeal Panel is to review the Board of Commissioners' decision to deny initial accreditation or deny continuing accreditation of a nursing program.  An appeal occurs only if a nursing program pursues this action.  See ACEN Policy #10 at this link: www.acenursing.net/manuals/Policies_March2016.pdf.
Do you know a person interested in serving as a public member on the Appeal Panel?
Public members are individuals with no connection to the discipline of nursing. An individual representing the public may not be:


1.  An employee, an owner, or a shareholder of a governing organization with any accredited or non-accredited nursing program or candidate/applicant nursing program.


2.  A member of a governing organization's governing board with any accredited or non-accredited nursing program or candidate/applicant nursing program.


3.  A consultant to any accredited or non-accredited nursing program or candidate/applicant nursing program.


4.  Affiliated or associated with any nursing accreditation agency or nursing organization such as AACN, ANA or NLN.


5.  A spouse, parent, child, or sibling of an individual identified in the above statements.


We encourage you to nominate someone to serve on this very important committee.  Please send your nomination to cmorris@acenursing.org.


Requests for an ACEN Certificate of Accreditation


The nurse administrator of a nursing program may submit a request for the ACEN Certificate of Accreditation. Certificates are issued to programs that have been granted initial or continuing accreditation. Certificates for nursing programs with the status of continuing accreditation with conditions or continuing accreditation with warning/warning for good cause may request the certificate when the program is found to be in compliance with all Accreditation Standards.




We are pleased to provide ACEN-accredited nursing programs with the ACEN Accreditation Seal.  As a mark of quality, the ACEN seal conveys to your current and prospective students as well as your communities of interest a commitment to the national standards for nursing programs as well as a focus on continuous improvement within the nursing program. 


Available at www.acenursing.org/guidelines-accreditation-seal/

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing | 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850 | Atlanta, GA 30326

P. (404) 975-5000 | F. (404) 975-5020 | www.acenursing.org


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