We are pleased to announce that the Board of Commissioners has approved Policy #32 Observer on the Site Visit Team, which allows a nursing program in its initial or reaccreditation review process to designate one (1) person to accompany a site visit team. The purpose of a Site Visit Observer is to provide one (1) designated person from a nursing program the opportunity to learn from the site visit team activities and from the review process experience. A site visit team may have only one (1) observer and that observer may not have any conflicts of interest as defined by ACEN Policy #1 Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest. All host programs must agree to have an observer accompany the site visit team. The ACEN cannot guarantee that all requests will be honored nor will all requests be approved due to the variability in the number of scheduled site visits. However, requests to have an observer accompany a site visit team will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs that agree to host an observer will receive priority. Neither the ACEN nor the host nursing program is responsible for any expenses (e.g., travel, lodging, meal, etc.) incurred by the observer in connection with observing the site visit team process. All expenses must be borne by the observer and/or the observer’s governing organization/nursing program.
All requests must include the completed Observer Intake Form with appropriate signatures and the prospective observer’s curriculum vitae. Both documents should be submitted by fax, ATTN: Observer, +1 (404) 975-5020. The Observer Intake Form is also available in the Resources for Nursing Programs page of the ACEN website.
The ACEN is pleased to announce a new way to serve our nursing programs: in 2017, the ACEN will implement an online Accreditation Management System. For most of 2016, your ACEN staff have been working with a software development company, Indigo Interactive, to implement online accreditation software that is designed for the specific needs of our nursing programs and peer evaluators. The online software will transition the ACEN accreditation processes to a digital medium and provide fully online 24/7 access through a web portal; from the first step of the Candidacy application to each program’s yearly Annual Report, all accreditation processes will be streamlined for accessibility, reliability, and convenience. For example, nurse educators will see an improvement of the Self-Study Report process, with the report itself templatized within the web portal for ease of completion and submission as easy as the click of a button. Peer evaluators, too, will be able to complete Site Visit Reports through the web portal template, and all work will be saved online so that it is accessible anywhere and anytime.
The benefits of the Accreditation Management System will be seen in how it supports more organized and efficient communication. Each user will have a unique login, which will allow access to a personalized dashboard that unifies all of her/his roles within the ACEN in one centralized location. Through the web portal, the user will be able to receive automated alerts for important upcoming due dates, receive and send assignments and correspondence, and even be able to schedule site visits. Every nursing program will have access to a dedicated online document repository. The ACEN accreditation processes will truly be in the contemporary digital age with the ability to upload and download important documents, eliminating the requirement of most hard-copy submissions.
All of your ACEN staff are truly excited by what the Accreditation Management System will do to improve accreditation processes. With the unification of all processes within one web portal, the ACEN staff will be better able to serve our nursing programs, our faculty, our volunteers, and the nursing education community.
Please look for future updates on the roll-out of the Accreditation Management System!