How does the name change affect accredited programs?

The nursing programs will not be affected by the name change.  There have been no changes in the Accreditation Standards, policies, and procedures.  All information related to ACEN is available on the website for programs to easily access and use when conducting self-reviews and/or submitting reports in accordance with policy and accreditation decisions.  The nursing programs can expect to receive accreditation services from the ACEN without interruption.

Does the name change affect nursing students?

Nursing students should be informed of the name change and reassured that the name change will not affect their progression in the nursing program.  Graduates from programs that are accredited by the ACEN will continue to be graduates from an accredited nursing program.

Will ACEN change its mission or focus?

The mission and focus of the ACEN will not change and remains at the center of everything we do.  The ACEN is the only nursing accrediting agency that accredits all six (6) program types (clinical doctorate, master’s, baccalaureate, associate, diploma, and practical), and the only nursing accrediting agency recognized by both the USDOE and CHEA to accredit all types of nursing programs.  The ACEN is also committed to retaining its recognition as a Title IV gatekeeper. The day-to-day operations of the agency will continue to reflect the excellent work of the Commission and the more than 600 committed volunteers who assist in ensuring quality nursing education throughout the U.S. and the U.S. Territories.

Should programs change their public information and use the ACEN name?

Yes.  In order for a program to be in compliance with the ACEN Criteria and the USDOE regulations, each nursing program must provide correct information about the current accreditation status of the program based on the most recent review. The program must also provide the contact information for the ACEN to all constituents through their website and public documents.  We are asking that programs change the name on websites for the program and governing organizations as soon as possible.  However, changing paper documents such as catalogs may not be completed as quickly.  Programs need only to ensure that paper documents will be changed the next time that the documents are printed.

It is important that the nursing students be provided with the accreditation status, ACEN name, and full address of ACEN.  You may choose to provide this in the nursing student handbook at the beginning of the next academic term.  Unfortunately, during reviews, we occasionally find that the accreditation information in program documents is not accurate, and programs do not routinely review all of their documents as required.  So, this is the perfect opportunity to ensure that your documents are in compliance with both ACEN policy and USDOE regulations in providing accurate, current, and consistent information to all enrolled and potential students as well as the public-at-large.  The contact information should be stated as:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and/or ACEN
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
P: (404) 975-5000
www.acenursing.org

Will there be a new logo for accredited programs to use on websites?

Yes, the new logo is currently being developed.  As soon as the logo is unveiled, it will be made available for accredited programs to use on their websites.  We hope to unveil the new logo within the next few weeks.

Will the Accreditation Standards be changed?

On January 1, 2013, the ACEN released the 2013 Standards and Criteria.  These will continue to be the Standards that will guide the accreditation process for the next five (5) years.  All accredited programs must transition to the 2013 Standards and Criteria by January 2014, as previously communicated.

If programs are scheduled to be reviewed in upcoming cycles, will there be an issue if the catalogs or other materials
are not changed to the ACEN name?

The ACEN recognizes the need for a transitional period for accredited programs and programs in Candidacy to update all electronic and print materials to reflect the ACEN name.  All electronic documents and websites need to reflect the new name as soon as possible; all references in paper documents to the ACEN should be updated during the next revision of printed materials.  If printed documents have not been updated at the time of the next review, the programs will need to provide information regarding the expected timeline for these changes to be made.

Will ACEN continue as a Title IV Gatekeeper?

Absolutely. The ACEN is committed to continue to serve in this capacity for the programs and more importantly for the students.  Many students would not have access to Federal Student Aid programs if the ACEN did not serve in this role for the nursing program.  Not every accrediting agency chooses to meet the required USDOE Regulations, particularly those related to the accrediting agency being separate and independent in order to be recognized as a Title IV Gatekeeper.  However, the ACEN values our continued recognition by the USDOE and our role as a Title IV Gatekeeper to serve the thousands of students who depend on us to ensure their access to federal financial aid.  The name change emphasizes ACEN’s separate and independent role from a trade/member association as required by the federal regulations.

Why is recognition by the U S Department of Education important to the nursing programs?

Accreditation ensures that education provided by nursing programs are of the highest quality.  The USDOE recognizes agencies that demonstrate a commitment to quality education and meet the USDOE Regulations pertaining to accreditation.  The recognition of the USDOE demonstrates that the accrediting agency is a reliable authority regarding the quality of education or training offered by the accredited institutions or programs.  We greatly value our USDOE recognition as it demonstrates our commitment to excellence and allows students enrolled in ACEN-accredited programs to receive the benefits of HEA Title IV and other federal grant monies.  In addition, the ACEN is fully recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for its ongoing work in nursing accreditation.