ACEN Recognition Renewed by the USDE

ATLANTA, June 1, 2023 – The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is proud to announce that the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has once again granted recognition to the ACEN as a specialized accreditor for nursing education programs.

On May 31, 2023, the ACEN received the decision letter from Jordan Matsudaira, Deputy Under Secretary and Chief Economist of the USDE, stating that the recognition of the ACEN was renewed for a period of five years. This decision is in line with the recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) and the recommendation from USDE staff.

ACEN Position Statement Related to Graduate Nursing Education Programs

The ACEN has been accrediting nursing education programs for over 80 years. Under ACEN practice, a master’s nursing program can also include post-master’s certificate (PMC) program options. In 2012, the ACEN began accrediting clinical doctorate programs (DNP), and in 2019, the ACEN added a DNP Specialist certificate as a component of the DNP degree.

The ACEN has accredited graduate nursing programs regardless of the specialty area(s) offered within the program; specialty areas are referred to as program options by the ACEN. The ACEN firmly believes that the level of nursing offered by an institution should be in congruence with the institutional philosophy and meet the needs of the institution’s communities of interest. Therefore, the ACEN will continue to accredit all APRN and non-APRN program options at the master’s level and DNP level.

The ACEN also accredits nurse educator program options offered as part of either a master’s or DNP program of study. The ACEN Board of Commissioners (BOC) firmly believes that the nurse educator role is a nursing practice specialty and that preparation at the graduate level is appropriate. The future of quality nursing programs is dependent upon having knowledgeable and skilled individuals with expertise in educational practice; thus, graduate programs should continue to offer well-designed nurse educator program options.


January 25, 2023

On January 23, 2023, the Board of Commissioners for the ACEN appointed Dr. Nell Ard as the Interim Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Ard has served the ACEN for more than ten years, most recently in the position of Director. She has deep knowledge of the organization and stakeholders with more than three decades of experience in nursing education.

The appointment is effective immediately and follows the departure of Dr. Marcy Stoll who resigned from her position as ACEN Chief Executive Officer. We thank Dr. Stoll for her eight years of service and wish her well in her future endeavors. The ACEN Board of Commissioners will commence a search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer and has engaged a national executive search firm to help identify and evaluate qualified candidates.


ACEN 2023 Nursing Education Accreditation Conference
July 19-21, 2023 – Atlanta, Georgia

The ACEN 2023 Nursing Education Accreditation Conference is an in-person only event that will explore the theme “Breaking Barriers,” which seeks to highlight innovations in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion; development of clinical judgment; and recruitment and retention strategies in nursing education and practice. This conference will offer opportunities to share your experiences and learn from the experiences of others through the lens of nursing education accreditation.



Fall 2023 Self-Study Forums
October 23-24 and October 26-27, 2023 – Atlanta, Georgia and Virtual

Are you preparing for a site visit? Do you and your faculty need to dive deeper into the ACEN Standards and Criteria? The Fall 2023 Self-Study Forum will focus on the new 2023 Standards and Criteria. During this two-day workshop, the ACEN in-house nurse educators review all five ACEN Standards and assist you in gaining a deeper understanding of each Criterion within the Standards. The goal is to support nursing faculty and administrators with demonstrating compliance and provide guidance for writing the Self-Study Report for individual programs in preparation for the ACEN site visit.

FEE: $599

Fall 2023 Program Administrators Workshop
October 25, 2023 – Atlanta, Georgia

The Program Administrator Workshop is designed and developed specifically for program administrators, faculty, coordinators, and other positions that have administrative responsibilities for the nursing program and/or nursing education unit. Workshop topics include roles/responsibilities for program leaders, themes from the ACEN 2023 Standards and Criteria, integration of ACEN policies, and maintenance of ACEN accreditation.

FEE: $199


There is an opportunity for you and your colleagues to serve nursing education and the nursing profession by becoming a peer evaluator. The ACEN is growing; the number of site visits per semester has increased from an average of 80 visits to 120 visits.

Your ACEN needs you to volunteer to be a peer evaluator.

Every ACEN-accredited nursing program benefits from having at least one nurse educator serving as a peer evaluator, and there is no limit to the number of peer evaluators from a nursing program. Many consider serving in the role of peer evaluator as an opportunity for service and as a professional commitment.

Transition-to-Practice Accreditation by ACEN

The leading authority for nursing education accreditation proudly brings you Transition-to-Practice (TTP) program accreditation. Transition to practice is a critical time during which a nurse develops the skills and attitudes necessary for autonomous nursing practice within her or his level of licensure. Transitions in nursing practice occur when an individual completes a nursing education program and obtains initial or a new level of nursing licensure, when a practicing nurse transitions to a new nursing role/responsibilities at the same level of licensure, or when a nurse re-enters the workforce after an extended absence. Current research suggests that successful transitions to practice result in improved patient safety and a better quality of nursing care.