ACEN-Recognized Agencies

ACEN-Recognized Institutional Accrediting Agencies

The ACEN recognizes the following agencies as institutional accrediting agencies for nursing education and transition-to-practice programs.

1. Section A.

All governing organizations administered by an academic institution that is part of a system of higher education or is supervised by a state education department/public school system/district must have an institutional accreditation relationship with one of the following agencies:

  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools1
  • Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges2
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges1
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training1
  • Cognia2
  • Council on Occupational Education1
  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission1
  • Higher Learning Commission1
  • Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools1
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education1
  • New England Commission of Higher Education1
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges Committee on Technical and Career Institutions2
  • New York State Board of Regents, State Education Department, Office of Professions1 (Public Postsecondary Vocational Education, Practical Nursing)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities1
  • Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education1
  • Pennsylvania State Board for Vocational Education, Bureau of Career and Technical Education1
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges1
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges1
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission1

2. Section B.

Hospital sponsoring a nursing program have accreditation with one of the following:

  • Accreditation Commission for Health Care3
  • DNV Healthcare3
  • Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program3
  • The Joint Commission3

*  Applies to governing organizations/nursing programs located in the United States and U.S. Territories

1 Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to establish eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. ACEN serves solely as the programmatic accrediting agency.

Per Policy #3 eligibility for ACEN accreditation requires several mandatory parts; having accreditation with one of these agencies establishes one of the mandatory eligibility parts.

2  Not recognized by the ED to establish eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. ACEN serving as the institutional accrediting agency for the governing organization/institution establishes eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. Additionally, ACEN serves as the programmatic accrediting agency.

Per Policy #3 eligibility for ACEN accreditation requires several mandatory parts; having accreditation with one of these agencies plus ACEN serving as the institutional accreditation agency for the governing organization/institution establishes two of the mandatory eligibility parts. For public K-12 governing organizations/institutions that do not hold or are ineligible to hold governing organization/institutional accreditation with an agency in Section A, contact ACEN about approval by a supervisory state education department/public school system/district.

3 Must have institutional accreditation relationship with an agency listed in Section A or sponsoring hospital must have accreditation with an agency listed in Section B plus have institutional accreditation relationship with the ACEN. ACEN serving as the institutional accrediting agency for the governing organization/institution establishes eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. Additionally, ACEN serves as the programmatic accrediting agency.

Per Policy #3 eligibility for ACEN accreditation requires several mandatory parts; having accreditation with an agency listed in:

  • Section A establishes one of the mandatory eligibility parts; or
  • Section B plus ACEN serving as the institutional accreditation agency for the governing organization/institution establishes two of the mandatory eligibility parts.