The ACEN Cares

The ACEN Cares

ATLANTA, Dec. 5, 2017 – It is that time of year again when giving back to the communities surrounding us is weighing on our minds. As a nursing organization, the ACEN has giving back on its mind year-round.

Each year, the ACEN team participates in an out-of-office excursion to help promote teamwork as well as inner-office collaboration and growth. This year, we chose to give back to the greater Atlanta area by providing a Career Day to students in Dr. Jeannette Francis-Ferris’s Health Sciences Courses at South Cobb High School in Austell, Georgia. Professional staff, our executive team, and our administrative team shared experiences, including our educational backgrounds and what led us to the ACEN. Students engaged in conversation and questions with our team and showed a thirst for knowledge. Before leaving the high school, members of the ACEN “editing team” assisted students in writing résumés for entrance into their desired college programs.

As the year progressed, members of the ACEN family were affected by natural disasters, resulting in damage to nursing programs in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Many of our programs were flooded and without power, some even without drinkable water or access to food. In an attempt to help our programs, as family does in a time of need, the ACEN enacted Policy #6 Delay/Advancement of Accreditation Visit, which allowed programs affected by the hurricanes to postpone upcoming site visits and allowed programs to submit reports outside of pre-established timeframes. Additionally, the ACEN has partnered with four non-profit organizations to encourage monetary donations to the communities hardest hit. Partnerships include the Neighborhood Health Clinic in Collier County, Florida, which was one of the worst hit areas in Florida after Hurricane Irma and home to many people below the poverty line; the Hispanic Foundation, which is the leader in the nation’s Latino non-profit organization with the objective to aid Puerto Rico in its long road to recovery; the Rebuild Texas Fund, which is a combined effort of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Fund to provide areas of need and long-term recovery from Hurricane Harvey in Texas; and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, which supports the current and long-term needs of proceeds to their designated efforts. Recovery in these areas is ongoing, and these organizations are still accepting donations.

Finally, each year during the holiday season, the ACEN offers its support to one local homeless shelter. This year, the ACEN is working with the Covenant House: Helping Children and Youth. As the name suggests, Covenant House is a homeless shelter for teens and young adults. These individuals come from a variety of backgrounds, including abuse victims, those kicked out of their homes, those who have aged out of foster care, and victims of human trafficking; but all have one thing in common: they have nowhere else to go, especially during the holidays. So, to help make the season bright, the ACEN has organized an in-office gift drive and will be delivering the gifts mid-December.

While it is important to remember to give in the winter months, it is a great feeling to be part of an organization that gives year-round. The ACEN believes in helping the community that serves as our home, as well as our family of programs. As the holidays come and go, the ACEN wishes everyone good tidings for the year ahead.

Season’s Greetings!

The ACEN and OADN Announce a Partnership

ATLANTA, Dec. 5, 2017 – The board members of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) made the announcement today that the two organizations have entered into a partnership. The goal of this partnership is to increase the benefits and the efficacy of the support network for associate degree nursing (ADN) programs and their students. While both the ACEN and OADN will continue to operate completely independently and will not gain any ownership interests, rights, or financial stakes in the companion organization, the constituents of each organization will see many benefits immediately:

Members of OADN will have direct access to assistance, advice, continuing education, and current best practices related to accreditation. Through the partnership there will be an increase in opportunities to learn and engage in the accreditation process for all associate degree programs reaching the important achievement of initial and/or continuing accreditation.

Faculty members associated with the ACEN’s accredited programs and OADN’s members can increase their skill development, teambuilding, and leadership through separate and joint programming offered by the ACEN and OADN, and will be able to more readily connect and network with the community of ADN program faculty throughout the United States.

Both the ACEN and OADN will be able to improve their outreach efforts to support ADN programs, and will be able to enhance and supplement their current professional development offerings, benefitting both the ACEN’s accredited programs and OADN’s members.

The partnership will facilitate ACEN accredited programs and OADN members access to timely and important information about academic progression, which will further advance the success of graduates from ADN programs.

Dr. Marsal P. Stoll, Chief Executive Officer for the ACEN, sees this partnership as another way for the organization to concretely carry out its mission. Says Dr. Stoll, “The ACEN has accredited associate degree programs since the inception of our agency in the 1950’s and the majority of ACEN-accredited programs are associate degree programs; currently 721 associate degree programs hold ACEN accreditation. This partnership with OADN is another way for the ACEN to fulfill its commitment of being a supportive partner for nursing education programs.”

ACEN is the largest accreditor of ADN programs and the only accrediting agency for ADN programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. OADN strongly supports accreditation as evidenced by a 2017 revised position paper [1] stating that “accreditation remains a constant, nationally recognized marker of educational quality and program outcome achievement.” OADN’s Chief Executive Officer Donna Meyer stated, “ADN programs are crucial to meeting the nursing workforce needs of our country. These programs are of the highest caliber and accreditation only reinforces this status. Additionally, non-accredited programs may be restricted from obtaining clinical placement sites, face decreased ability to obtain federal grant dollars, and impede the graduate’s ability to move forward in their education. The OADN Board of Directors believes strongly that working in partnership with ACEN we can increase the number of accredited ADN Programs.”

In support of accreditation and academic progression, OADN is one of the national organizations taking the lead in the new initiative on academic progression, the National Education Progression in Nursing (NEPIN) collaborative, partially funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To learn more about the ACEN, programmatic accreditation and the benefits thereof, please visit http://www.acenursing.org/. For more information about OADN, the only national organization dedicated to associate degree nursing, please visit https://oadn.org/.

[1] “Accreditation Position Statement,” OADN, https://www.oadn.org/images/pdf/resources-initiatives/170802_OADN_Accreditation_PositionStatement_final.pdf