October 2015

Volume IX - Issue 03


ACEN to Conduct an Interim Review of Selected Standards and Criteria


Dr. Marcy Stoll, ACEN CEO


Evidence-based practice includes the conscientious use of data to solve problems and make informed decisions.  In the spirit of evidence-based practice, I expressed to the ACEN Board of Commissioners, at their July 2015 meeting, my concern about the number of programs being found non-compliant with Standard 2 Faculty and Staff, Standard 4 Curriculum, and Standard 6 Outcomes.  In analyzing the data, it appears that issues related to Criteria 2.1, 2.2, 2.7, 4.8, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4.1, 6.4.2, 6.4.3, 6.4.4, and 6.4.5 have been the primary reasons for programs' non-compliance with Standards 2, 4, and 6.  This was consistently found to be the case across all program types.  The only point that I am making is we all have a responsibility to be mindful of the data, analyze and discuss it, and reach evidence-based conclusions.


As you know, after the full peer review process in 2012 per ACEN Policy #23 and Policy #24 (ACEN Accreditation Manual, Section II Policies), the 2013 Standards and Criteria were implemented.  All programs in the Spring 2013 cycle used the 2008 Standards and Criteria; all programs in the Fall 2013 cycle had the choice of using the 2008 or 2013 Standards and Criteria; and, effective Spring 2014, all programs used the 2013 Standards and Criteria.  After using the 2013 Standards and Criteria for three full accreditation cycles (Spring 2014, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015), the identified trend in non-compliance data suggests that further analysis is needed and possible revisions may be in order.


The Board of Commissioners accepted my proposal to conduct an interim review of selected Standards and Criteria.  We will follow the process outlined in ACEN Policy #23 and Policy #24 and have invited nursing program representatives from practical, diploma, associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral programs to participate.  YOUR PARTICIPATION IS ALSO NEEDED AND ESSENTIAL TO THE PROCESS.  If revisions are recommended, there will be two opportunities for your input/comments on any proposed changes; watch for these announcements at a later date.  Please take advantage of these opportunities for your involvement.


The future is bright for the ACEN because of you, your colleagues, and all of the dedicated volunteers who ensure a strong and fair peer review process.  Thank you for your dedication and hard work.


Welcome Newly Elected Commissioners



Please join us in welcoming four newly elected Members to the ACEN Board of Commissioners. The new Members include three educators and one public member. Pictured left to right are: Dr. Jo Ann Baker; Dr. Hollie Caldwell; Dr. Amy Hall; and Dr. John Russell. Also elected for a second consecutive term is Dr. Raquel Pasaron (not pictured here). The new Commissioners will be joining the Board at their upcoming meeting in mid-November. The Board of Commissioners elects Board Chair Dr. Marilyn Brady, Vice Chair Dr. Ann Bain, and Treasurer Marsha Purcell. Information about the Members of the ACEN Board of Commissioners is available in the About section of our website at www.acenursing.org.



Exploration of ACEN Accreditation Standards for Nurse Residency Programs


Recently, the ACEN was approached by some clinicians to consider establishing accreditation standards for academically-based nurse residency programs at the baccalaureate and graduate levels.  These clinicians stated that academically-based nurse residency accreditation standards are needed because currently existing employer-based residency accreditation require individuals to be supported by their employer.  The clinicians asserted that academically-based residency programs housed at colleges/university merit an accreditation process because they are more flexible, given their independence from employers, and are advantageous to the nursing profession, future students, and colleges/universities.


Perhaps there is a need for this type of accreditation, and perhaps the ACEN is the key nursing accreditation agency to provide such accreditation due to its recognition by the U.S. Department of Education as a Title IV gatekeeper, providing access to essential student financial aid.  Consequently, the ACEN Board of Commissioners authorized the exploration of establishing both employer-based and academically-based accreditation standards for nurse residency programs.


Representatives from clinical practice and baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs are being invited to participate in the exploration and possible drafting of these accreditation standards.  If this process results in proposed accreditation standards, we will follow ACEN Policy #23. 


The ACEN values its continued involvement in the nursing community and in the delivery of quality nursing education to students nationwide. We look forward to collaborating with you and our constituents as we consider this new avenue for nursing education accreditation.  YOUR PARTICIPATION WILL BE NEEDED AND ESSENTIAL TO THE PROCESS.


 Public Notice
of Proposed Policy Revisions


Per ACEN Policy #11, ACEN is providing notice of the proposed revisions to Policy #1, 2, 8, 9, 12, 15, 20, and 24.  Interested parties have the opportunity to offer comments from October 9, 2015, to October 25, 2015.  The revised policies and comment procedures are available through our website at www.acenursing.org.



Effectively Leading an ACEN-Accredited Program

We are excited to announce that registration for the Nurse Administrator Workshop has been extended to program coordinators. Also, the workshop has been scheduled for April 20, 2016 in tandem with the Self-Study Forum in Atlanta, April 21-22, 2016, a potential travel cost savings for participants planning to attend both. Space is limited and will fill quickly. For more information or to register for the Nurse Administrator Workshop, go to www.acenursing.org/nurse-administrator-workshop.


Spring 2016
Self-Study Forums

The Self-Study Forum continues to be a valuable resource for administrators and faculty of nursing programs writing a Self-Study Report and preparing for an accreditation site visit. Learn more about the 2013 Standards and Criteria and accreditation policies and review. Registration is now open for the Spring 2016 Self-Study Forums: March 24-25, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ, and April 21-22, 2016 in Atlanta, GA. For more information or to register, visit www.acenursing.org/self-study-forums


Resources for Nursing Programs: Reporting Substantive Change


The revisions for Policy #14 Reporting Substantive Changes went into effect in July 2015, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. These revisions were intended to provide clarity and transparency to the substantive change process, and we appreciate the feedback from our nursing programs during the transition.


To help guide our programs through the transition, the ACEN is offering monthly orientation conference calls. These calls will offer a walk-through of the new policy and the reporting process and provide an opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback. Sign-up information for the orientation calls is available at www.acenursing.org/policy-14-orientation/.


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