ACEN Press ReleasePress Release
For Immediate Release

Contact:
Yovanka Heyburn, Executive Assistant
P.  (404) 975-5000
E.  yheyburn@acenursing.org

Dr. Sharon TannerDr. Sharon Tanner to Retire as CEO of ACEN

Atlanta, GA, March 25, 2014 – Sharon Tanner, EdD, MSN, RN, Chief Executive Officer of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), has announced that she will retire from the ACEN in October 2014. Dr. Tanner’s decision marks the end of a nearly decade-long tenure with the agency as CEO and over 30 years of service to the nursing profession and the promotion of excellence in nursing education.

Dr. Tanner’s experience with accreditation and her involvement with the ACEN began long before she assumed the leadership role at the ACEN. Prior to joining the agency as CEO, Dr. Tanner served as an ACEN program evaluator, a member of the Evaluation Review Panel, and a member of the Board of Commissioners. Since joining the agency as CEO, she has continued to share her expertise and experience in nursing education through her dynamic work to ensure quality in nursing education on the state, national, and international levels.

“Dr. Tanner has worked tirelessly for more than eight years as the CEO of the ACEN,” said ACEN Board Chair, Dr. Mary Lou Rusin. “Today, as a direct result of her efforts, the ACEN is one of the largest specialized accrediting agencies in the U.S. Dr. Tanner’s visionary leadership and commitment to fostering excellence in nursing education at all levels is unparalleled. The energy, passion, and knowledge Sharon has brought to the ACEN is inestimable. We wish her all the best in her retirement.”

During Dr. Tanner’s tenure with the ACEN, she has provided essential guidance in the development of national best practices for nursing education by fostering interagency collaboration with state regulatory agencies. She has worked closely with national and regional accrediting agencies as well as professional organizations to support ongoing quality improvement in higher education. As a recognized and respected leader in nursing education and accreditation, Dr. Tanner has also represented the interests of accrediting agencies and higher education before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and on multiple Negotiated Rulemaking Committees for the U.S. Department of Education. She has many publications to her credit related to nursing education and accreditation with regular columns in two nursing journals for several years. Dr. Tanner has also provided keynote addresses and presentations at countless national conferences as well as scores of regional and state meetings.

“Dr. Tanner is a visionary leader who has guided the ACEN into an exceptional agency,” said Dr. Peggy Tudor, Vice Chair of the ACEN Board of Commissioners. “Dr. Tanner has served as a mentor to countless professional colleagues, sharing her enthusiasm for assessment and program development. She has impacted nursing education in numerous ways – through New Nurse Administrator Workshops, renewed Self-Study Forums, vast numbers of ongoing publications, and other initiatives to improve educational programs, including the establishment of the ACEN as the forerunner of accreditation for international nursing programs.”

“Although we will miss Dr. Tanner’s leadership and extensive knowledge regarding the accreditation process, she is leaving the organization in excellent condition,” added Dr. Tudor. “We wish her well as she begins her new journey, and we look forward to securing a new leader to inspire us in future endeavors.”

The Board of Commissioners is in the process of completing the appointments to a search committee, led by Marilyn Smidt, MSN, to direct the process for the selection of Dr. Tanner’s successor.  Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Wheless Executive Search: 888-492-8088 Ext. 160; ACEN-CEO@whelesspartners.com.

The ACEN is the entity that is responsible for the specialized accreditation of nursing education programs, both postsecondary and higher degree, which offer either a certificate, a diploma, or a recognized professional degree (clinical doctorate, master’s/post-master’s certificate, baccalaureate, and associate). The ACEN is one of the largest specialized accrediting agency in the U.S. and is the only organization that offers accreditation services to all types of nursing education programs from practical to clinical doctorate nursing programs. The ACEN supports the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public by the functions of accreditation. Accreditation assists in the further improvement of the institutions or programs as related to the resources invested, processes followed, and results achieved. www.acenursing.org