The Board of Commissioners approved a revision to POLICY #3 ELIGIBILITY FOR ACCREDITATION. Pursuant to Commission Policy #11, proposed policy changes are submitted to accredited programs for review and comment prior to implementation.

Please provide any comments by email to Yovanka Heyburn at yheyburn@acenursing.org no later than April 16, 2014. The Commissioners will consider these comments prior to implementation of the policy.

Thank you for reviewing this policy change. We appreciate your interest and support of the accreditation process.

POLICY #3 ELIGIBILITY FOR ACCREDITATION

To be eligible for initial or continuing accreditation, a nursing program must demonstrate that it meets or continues to meet the following eligibility requirements of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Once eligibility is established, institutions then must demonstrate that they meet the standards for accreditation.

  • The governing organization offering the program is legally authorized to grant the credential (degree, diploma, or certificate) to the program seeking accreditation.
  • The governing organization offering the program and granting the credential is accredited or approved for candidacy by an appropriate agency.
    • If the program is administered by a college, university, or technical institution that is part of the system of higher education, and grants a diploma, certificate, associate, baccalaureate, master’s degree, or clinical doctorate in nursing, the governing organization must be accredited or hold candidacy by one of the following agencies: Middle States Association, New England Association, North Central Association, Northwest Association, Southern Association, Western Association, Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, New York State Education Department for Hospital Based Nursing Programs offering the Associate degree, and The Joint Commission.
    • If the program is administered by a hospital and grants a diploma, the hospital must be approved by DNV Healthcare, The Joint Commission, or the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) of the American Osteopathic Association.
    • If the program is administered by a vocational school and grants a certificate, the school must be approved by the appropriate state agency for vocational education and/or the Council for Occupational Education.
    • If the nursing education unit (school/college) is independent and has state approval to grant an associate, baccalaureate, master’s degree, or clinical doctorate in nursing, the school/college must be accredited or approved for candidacy by one of the following agencies: Middle States Association, New England Association, North Central Association, Northwest Association, Southern Association, Western Association, Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT), Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), or New York State Education Department (for Hospital-Based Nursing Programs offering the Associate Degree).
  • The program must be currently approved without qualification by the state agency that has legal authority for education programs in nursing. This policy is not applicable to those programs in nursing over which a board of nursing has no jurisdiction (i.e., selected master’s degree programs or programs admitting previously licensed nurses).
  • The program has one (1) class of students in the final semester or quarter at the time of the site visit or graduates of the program.
  • Practical, diploma, associate, baccalaureate, and higher degree nursing education programs that are not located in a regionally accredited institution may use accreditation by this agency to establish eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.

Nursing education units that come together to form consortia agreements may seek accreditation from ACEN if they meet eligibility requirements. In governing organizations with  nursing programs that offer more than one (1) option/track, all nursing program options/tracks that lead to the same certificate or degree must seek accreditation for any one (1) of them to be accredited.