March 2017

Volume XI Issue 1


Get Ready to Vote!

ACEN Board of Commissioners Election Opens April 1, 2017 Through May 31, 2017


The 2017 ACEN Board of Commissioners election will begin on April 1, 2017. Votes may be cast until May 31, 2017, and newly elected members will take office October 1, 2017.


The Nurse Administrator, as the ACEN-accredited program representative, will receive an email from Big Pulse, a third-party election vendor that the ACEN contracted to host the online election process. Though this email is a legitimate communication from the ACEN, it may be 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 2017 ELECTION," and the email will provide a link to the 2017 election ballot as well as general voting instructions.


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 contact Stephanie Larson at (404) 975-5002 if the email(s) is not received.


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.


See information about candidates at this link:


USDE and CHEA Recognition


The ACEN is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit nursing education programs and schools, both postsecondary and higher degree, which offer a certificate, diploma, or a recognized professional degree including clinical doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, associate, diploma, and practical nursing programs in the United States and its territories, including those offered via distance education. The USDE recognition allows select ACEN-accredited programs to establish eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. The ACEN is the only nursing education accrediting agency that holds both USDE and CHEA recognition.


Recognition for the ACEN is equivalent to accreditation for nursing education programs. In the ACEN Special Edition Newsletter (December, 2016), the recognition process was described. The USDE recognition is for 5 years (for the ACEN 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017, etc.) and the CHEA recognition is for 10 years with a fifth-year interim report (for the ACEN 2002/2007, 2012/2017, etc.). Both the USDE and CHEA recognition process require a "self-study report" addressing established criteria. The ACEN staff started working on both reports in summer 2016. The USDE report is due in June 2017 and the ACEN will appear before the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) in December 2017, and the CHEA report is due in July 2017 and will be reviewed by the CHEA Board in fall 2017. We look forward to sharing updates with you over the next year as the ACEN progresses through each step of these recognition processes.



Preparing for and participating in an accreditation site visit is a part of the program improvement process. However, nurse administrators and faculty may find this process overwhelming, particularly if they do not have experience with the process. The ACEN is committed to being a supportive partner and assisting programs with navigating the ACEN accreditation process. The ACEN staff designed a variety of resources to help programs with meeting their accreditation goals. These resources include forums, workshops, conference calls, and website resources, including guidelines and templates.


Additionally, ACEN professional staff members are available to assist programs with navigating the ACEN accreditation process. Professional staff members can be reached by email or phone to answer questions about the Standards and Criteria, policies, or procedures. For programs seeking more intensive professional staff support, the ACEN is excited to offer a new Advisory Review option. This option provides the program with an opportunity for individual and comprehensive feedback approximately 1–2 years before a scheduled site visit.

The purpose of an Advisory Review is to provide extensive assistance to an ACEN-accredited program preparing for continuing accreditation. This review is an optional resource and not a requirement for continuing accreditation. The program requests the review and identifies the focus points based on the specific needs of the program. The review may include an emphasis on process details, specific Standards and Criteria, or a review of draft documents.


The Advisory Review format may be conducted by teleconference, videoconference, or an in-person onsite review. The recommended timeframe for an Advisory Review is during the 6th or 7th year of the program's continuing accreditation or during the 3rd or 4th year following the program's initial accreditation. The date and time of the review will be mutually agreed upon between the professional staff member assigned to the Advisory Review and the program's nurse administrator.


For more information regarding Advisory Reviews, please visit the ACEN website at, email us at, or call the office at (404) 975-5000.




Announcing the Inaugural
ACEN Annual Accreditation Conference


The Steering Committee of the ACEN Accreditation Conference is proud to announce our Inaugural Conference scheduled July 12-14, 2018 at the Omni Atlanta Hotel – CNN Center.


The conference theme is "Quality Education through Accreditation."


The purpose of this conference is to provide a scholarly forum in which faculty, nurse administrators, and students of ACEN-accredited programs share best practices in nursing education.


Our accreditation conference is your opportunity to engage in scholarship, learn new educational practices, meet and network with your peers, interact with the ACEN Board of Commissioners, meet our dynamic Chief Executive Officer, and enjoy the numerous amenities of Atlanta, Georgia. In fact, family activities, restaurants, parks, and shopping are within walking distance from the Omni Atlanta Hotel – CNN Center.


Topics for one-hour sessions and poster presentations include, but are not limited to, creative partnerships for nursing programs; innovative online or hybrid delivery of nursing courses or nursing programs; resourceful utilization of preceptors; inventive faculty mentoring programs; faculty evaluation processes; student orientation programs; grievance and/or complaint procedures; curriculum maps for established professional nursing standards, guidelines, competencies, diversity, and standards of practice; academic progression pathways, assessment of student learning outcomes; assessment of program outcomes; and data collection and analysis of job placement rates.


The "call for abstracts" will be posted within the next few months. Stay tuned! We look forward to meeting you July 12-14, 2018.



Program Administrator Workshop and Self-Study Forum



Register for the 2017 Program Administrator Workshop and the Spring 2017 Self-Study Forum at the Omni Atlanta Hotel - CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.


This Program Administrator Workshop, April 5, 2017, will provide program administrators with information related to accreditation policies and processes; orientation to the responsibilities of the program administrator in maintaining compliance with ACEN Standards and Criteria; and helpful direction related to reporting and maintenance of documentation.


The Self-Study Forum, April 6-7, 2017, will feature the new 2017 ACEN Standards and Criteria. Learn about the Standards and Criteria and current policies in accreditation review. Gain knowledge in systematic planning for program evaluation and assessment of outcomes. Attend program specific sessions to discuss areas of mutual interests. Participate in networking opportunities and earn continuing education credit.


Space is limited! Visit the ACEN website for more information. Register today!



ACEN Staff Spotlight: Vishal Patel

Vishal Patel is a member of the ACEN Operations team, working in the position of Operations Analyst. He is responsible for ensuring the efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity of the data and management systems within the ACEN. Since joining the ACEN in April 2014, Vishal has made tremendous contributions to the organization. He has designed and created several customized internal computer applications that have greatly improved the effectiveness of nearly all processes within the ACEN.


Currently, Vishal is managing the development of the ACEN's new online Accreditation Management System, scheduled for release later this year. He is an integral part of the Annual Report process, redesigning the report for intuitive completion and accurate collection of data for analysis. A true "team player," Vishal is always available to provide assistance and support, making himself a reliable and valued member of the ACEN family.

The ACEN Welcomes
Dr. Paula Dunn Tropello



It is exciting to welcome Paula Dunn Tropello, EdD, MSN, RN, CCNS, FNP-BC to the ACEN as a visiting scholar for her sabbatical leave during spring 2017. Paula has temporarily relocated to Atlanta, joining the ACEN on February 6, 2017 to assume Associate Director role responsibilities and learn more about nursing education accreditation.


In 2010, Paula became the Inaugural Dean and Chair of the Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY and she also served as Chair from 1998 to 2004. Paula earned her undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Virginia, received her Master's in Maternal Child Health (Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist track) from the University of Florida, and a Post-Masters Certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Wagner College. Her doctoral studies were at Rutgers University, with a dissertation on "The Origins of the Nurse Practitioner Movement". Paula also holds a Wharton Business School Certificate in Executive Leadership and is nationally boarded as a Family Nurse Practitioner practicing part-time.


In addition to her Deanship which she held through January, 2017, she was instrumental in starting the DNP program with a focus on disaster preparedness. She also teaches in the Doctoral Program on Global Health and in the Master's Program the Role and Practicum courses. Paula serves as a member of Staten Island University Hospital (Northwell Health Systems) Executive Board of Trustees and their Quality Committee and represents the college on American Association of Colleges and Universities, New York Council of Deans, National League of Nursing, New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders, and serves on the United Nations Non-Government Organizations Health Committee Executive Board.



Presents Globally



ACEN's CEO and professional staff are on the move! The ACEN will be traveling nationally and internationally to connect with nursing professionals and educate nursing education systems on the benefits of accreditation. ACEN's CEO, Dr. Marsal Stoll will be speaking at the Mississippi Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, and with The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Stoll will be joining authorities in nursing education to contribute insight on the industry's hot topics.

The spring lineup for ACEN presentations and vendor opportunities include, but are not limited to: The Council on Nursing Education at Washington State, University of Charleston's Nurse Educator Update and Influencing Global Health through the Advancement of Nursing Scholarship in Dublin, Ireland.


ACEN is available to make a customized presentation or contribute expertise at your event. Let us know how we can assist you and your colleagues.



ACEN Commissioner
Catherine McJannet
Honored as
Soroptimist International Coronado



The Soroptimist International Coronado will be honoring Catherine McJannet, MN, RN, CEN as this year's Legend at its 14th annual Legends Luncheon on April 22, 2017, Coronado, San Diego, CA. The Legend award recognizes outstanding women who devote their time to community service and charitable organizations.


Catherine McJannet is the current Chair of the ACEN Board of Commissioners and an ACEN peer evaluator and member of the Soroptimist International of Coronado since 2010.


Continue to the article* in Coronado Lifestyle 




* Breitner, Ellen (2017, February 28). Coronado Soroptimists Honor a Life Spent Giving.


Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

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