Cultural Connections

Cultural Connections for the ACEN

Author: Nell Ard, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, Director ACEN

Published August 2023

Cultural Connections within the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is reflected in multiple ways. These include the 2023 Standards and Criteria, the variety of nursing programs accredited by the ACEN, as well as the ACEN staff. 

The ACEN Standards and Criteria, specifically Standard 4 Curriculum, have also included concepts related to culture, ethnicity, and social differences. Nursing programs should integrate these concepts throughout a nursing curriculum to effectively prepare their students to take care of patients from different cultures. In the 2023 Standards and Criteria, Criterion 4.7 requires that nursing programs integrate contemporary concepts in all learning environments.

Included in the concepts that were identified by the peers who assisted in the development of the Standards and Criteria are the concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion and/or social determinants of health.

Cultural connections also extend to the nursing programs accredited by the ACEN or seeking ACEN accreditation. The ACEN accredits all six levels of nursing (e.g., practical, diploma, associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and clinical doctorate) in the United States. Currently, the ACEN accredits 1,335 nursing programs representing over 1,000 nursing education units. The ACEN programs include programs in the United States as well as the U.S. Territories. Additionally, the ACEN currently has 11 ACEN-accredited international nursing programs. Of the 158 nursing programs currently in candidacy, 15 of these programs are international programs. The ACEN-accredited international programs represent the countries of the Sultanate of Oman, Turkey, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Columbia. Programs in Candidacy represent the countries of Thailand, Indonesia, Bermuda, Jordan, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In addition to our international nursing programs, the ACEN programs include tribal colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), Hispanic serving institutions, as well as colleges and universities located in many of the most diverse communities in the United States. Several of these nursing programs have contributed articles to this edition of Bridges.

The cultural connections of the ACEN also extends to the amazing ACEN staff that serve our nursing programs and its other communities of interest. Additionally, the depth of our peer evaluators who are faculty and nurse administrators working at ACEN-accredited programs in rural and urban settings across all six program types. Our peer evaluators include nursing faculty and administrators who reflect our culturally diverse nursing programs both domestically and internationally.