2023-2024 ACEN Board of Commissioners Election and ACEN Nominating Committee Election

2023-2024 ACEN Board of Commissioners Election and ACEN Nominating Committee Election

The voting period for the 2023-2024 election has concluded.

The 2023 ACEN Board of Commissioners and ACEN Nominating Committee election will begin on April 1, 2023. ACEN Nurse Administrators may cast their votes until May 31, 2023, and newly elected members will take office October 1, 2023.

The following positions are open:

ACEN Board of Commissioners

  1. Two nurse educators for a three-year term representing associate nursing programs
  2. One nurse educator for a three-year term representing practical nursing programs
  3. One nurse clinician/practitioner for a three-year term representing nursing service
  4. One member of the public for a three-year term

ACEN Nominating Committee

  1. One nurse educator, nursing clinician/practitioner, or member of the public for a three-year term

If you are an ACEN Nurse Administrator and you have not received the email/s from BigPulse inviting you to vote, or if you have any questions about the process, please contact Jessica Gibson at [email protected].

ACEN Board of Commissioners Ballot

Nursing Educator Representatives – Associate

Adam K. Combs, DNP, RN, CPAN, CHSE
Simulation Coordinator & Clinical Nursing Instructor
Wayne Community College
Goldsboro, North Carolina


Dr. Adam Combs, DNP, RN, CPAN, CHSE serves as the Simulation Coordinator and a Clinical Nursing Instructor at Wayne Community College (WCC) in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Dr. Combs has over nine years of nursing experience with a clinical background in peri-anesthesia and post-surgical nursing. In his current role as Simulation Coordinator, he has integrated simulation experiences into courses across the curriculum for both Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) and Practical Nursing (PN) programs. Additionally, Dr. Combs serves as Adjunct Nursing Faculty within the Hunt School of Nursing at Gardner-Webb University teaching in the master’s program.

Dr. Combs’ educational background includes a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Leadership from Gardner-Webb University, a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus in Nursing Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and an ADN from WCC. Dr. Combs holds certifications as both a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) and a Certified Post-Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN).

He has served as an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Peer Evaluator since 2019 and as a Team Chair since Spring 2023. He was a participant in the 2022 National League for Nursing (NLN) Simulation Leaders program and serves on the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) Simulation Committee. He was recognized as the 2016 PeriAnesthesia Nurse of the Year by the North Carolina Association of PeriAnesthesia Nurses.

Dr. Combs holds membership in the OADN, NLN, North Carolina League for Nursing, North Carolina Associate Degree Nursing Council, North Carolina Nurses Association, International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning, and Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

Danelle Burrows, DNP, MSN, BA, RN
System Curriculum Manager
Bryant & Stratton College – Solon/Parma
Solon, Ohio

BIOGRAPHY - Danelle Burrows, DNP, MSN, BA, RN

Dr. Danelle Burrows, DNP, MSN, BA, RN has 26 years of nursing experience, including 19 years in nursing education. She is the System Curriculum Manager for Bryant & Stratton College and is responsible for assisting in the RN-BSN, BSN, ADN, and PN programs. Prior to her role as Curriculum Manager, Dr. Burrows served as the Nursing Program Director for the Associate Degree in Nursing and Diploma in Practical Nursing programs.

Dr. Burrows earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Walsh University in 2017, her Master’s of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in Education from Ursuline College in 2008, and she double-majored and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ursuline College in 1997.

Dr. Burrows has served as an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Peer Evaluator since 2013, a Team Chair since 2015, and an Evaluation Review Panel Member since 2016. She was a member on the Ohio Board of Nursing Advisory Board for ADN Education from 2013 to 2015.

She is a member of several professional associations including Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses, American Nurses Association, and National League for Nursing. She has written and presented several Continuing Education Units (CEUs) on topics such as pharmacology, dermatology, and hypertension.

Diane Evans-Prior, DNP, RN
Dean, School of Nursing and Patient Support
Central New Mexico Community College
Albuquerque, New Mexico

BIOGRAPHY - Diane Evans-Prior, DNP, RN

Dr. Diane Evans-Prior, DNP, RN is a long-time New Mexico resident. She has worked as a bedside nurse in hospital, long term care, orthopedics, home health, and intermediate care settings. Passionate about sustainability in nursing, she has been a Nursing Instructor at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) since 2001, moved into the role of Academic Affairs Director for Nursing in 2012, and currently serves as Dean of the School of Nursing and Patient Support. During her tenure, she has helped the program nearly double in capacity, accepting 96 students three times annually. In addition to the program growth, she has made the program more accessible, affordable, and ethnically diverse for the student population it serves.

Committed to rural and urban nursing education needs, Dr. Evans-Prior helped to develop and implement the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC) curriculum, which is fully shared and implemented amongst 16 publicly funded college and university locations across the state. This consortium has provided the opportunity for the prelicensure BSN to be offered at eight community college locations through a unique partnership with the state’s three universities. This groundbreaking model also allows for seamless transfer between NMNEC schools.

Dr. Evans-Prior earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of New Mexico in 2016, focusing her studies on the need for transition-to-practice programs in hospital and non-hospital settings. Because of her doctoral work, she contributed to the development of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Transition-to-Practice Accreditation Standards that are in place today. She currently serves on the NMNEC Leadership Council, the executive team of the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence, and the New Mexico Action Coalition. She volunteers for the ACEN as a Peer Evaluator in the role of Team Chair and Evaluation Review Panel Member, and most recently as the Chairman for the Board of Commissioners. She presents regularly at both national and local conferences, and she has authored many publications. In her off-hours, Dr. Evans-Prior enjoys spending time with her husband of 34 years, her two children, and their growing families.

Linda Godley, PhD, RN
Professor of Nursing
Alcorn State University
Natchez, Mississippi

BIOGRAPHY - Linda Godley, PhD, RN

Dr. Linda Godley, PhD currently serves as Professor of Nursing, Director of the Center for Accreditation, Assessment, Compliance, and Evaluation Management, and Interim Director of Graduate Nursing Programs at Alcorn State University. She is also an active member of the Planning, Management and Evaluation Committee, Graduate Council, a member of the ASU and the School of Nursing Promotion, Rank, Tenure, and Leave Promotion Committees, the School of Nursing Administrative Council, and the School of Nursing Faculty Organization.

Dr. Godley has 46 years of experience as a nurse educator in institutions of higher learning. She was a member of the founding faculty in Alcorn’s Department of Associate Degree Nursing in 1977. After leaving Alcorn in 1990, she served as Assistant Professor of Nursing at Louisiana State University at Alexandria for two years and Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for three years. Returning to Alcorn in 1995, Dr. Godley served as Assistant Professor and Chair in the Department of Associate Degree Nursing for 10 years. She also served as Chair in the Graduate Nursing Program for three years and as Dean of the School of Nursing for five years.

Dr. Godley has been an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Peer Evaluator since 2008. She serves in the roles of Team Chair and Team Member. Dr. Godley is also a member of the ACEN Evaluation Review Panel and has served on the Appeals Panel.

Dr. Godley earned a Bachelor’s Degree at University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly known as Northeast Louisiana University) and a Master’s Degree at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. She earned a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree in Nursing from Southern University and A & M College.

Nursing Educator Representatives – Practical

Cheryl Shaffer, PhD, PNP, ANP, RN
Associate Dean of Nursing
Suffolk County Community College
Sayville, New York

BIOGRAPHY - Cheryl Shaffer, PhD, PNP, ANP, RN

Dr. Cheryl Shaffer, PhD, PNP, ANP, RN is the College Associate Dean for the School of Nursing at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York. Dr. Shaffer has served as the Nurse Administrator for the associate, mobility, and practical nursing programs at her institution for the past nine years, and has been a member of the faculty for nineteen years. She leads the faculty in the nursing programs offered on three campus locations.

Dr. Shaffer has served the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) since 2014 and is currently a member of the ACEN Board of Commissioners. Dr. Shaffer has served in multiple roles for the ACEN including Committee Chair of the Substantive Change Committee, 2023 Standards and Criteria Review and Recommendations Committee, Evaluation Review Panel, as well as an ACEN Peer Evaluator in the role of Team Chair where she has conducted focused, multiple program, and coordinated site visits.

Additionally, Dr. Shaffer continues to serve as a Peer Evaluator for the New York State Education Department Office of Professions for practical and associate degree nursing programs and serves on the NYS Advisory Board to Post-Secondary Vocational Practical Nursing Education Programs the State Education Department Division of Professional Education.

Dr. Shaffer has experience in curriculum redesign, strategic planning, and expansion in program enrollment greater than 50%. She served as a Co-Chair for The State University of New York (SUNY) transfer path in nursing revision representing the lower division/associate degree transfer pathway. Dr. Shaffer spearheaded two joint-admission agreements (“2+2”) with local universities for associate degree students to be dually enrolled into an RN-BS completion program.

Dr. Shaffer has published in peer-reviewed journals, served as a PhD Dissertation Committee Member, and is a frequent conference speaker including Trends in Practical Nursing for the ACEN annual conference. She has managed grants from the New York State Department of Health that funds tuition, fees, and equipment for health-care workers retraining to become a licensed practical nurse.

Prior to her professional career in nursing education, Dr. Shaffer worked as a Nurse Practitioner in a family practice.

Dr. Shaffer holds a PhD in Nursing Research from Rutgers, The State University of NJ, a Master’s of Science Degree from Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Mary Grady, DNP, RN, CNE, CHSE
Nursing Programs Administrator
Lorain County Community College
Elyria, Ohio


Dr. Mary Grady, DNP, RN, CNE, CHSE has 40 years of experience in the nursing profession. She began her journey in 1982 as a Licensed Practical Nurse and became a Registered Nurse in 1989 after obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She furthered her education by obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice.

Dr. Grady’s journey in the nursing profession has taken her down numerous paths. She has been a nurse at the bedside in the specialty of pediatrics, medical surgical nursing, rehabilitation, and public health. In the area of academia, she has taught nursing students entering LPN and RN associate degree programs in the role of an Adjunct Clinical and Lab Instructor, full-time Nursing Lab Coordinator, full-time faculty (lecture, lab, and clinical duties), and managed simulation lab coordination for a total of 20 years. Since 2020, Dr. Grady has served as the Nursing Programs Administrator at Lorain County Community College (LCCC) located in the city of Elyria, Ohio. She oversees the practical nursing and associate degree nursing programs that serve over 400 students at this community college located 25 miles west of Cleveland.

Dr. Grady believes strongly that nursing education is the gateway to nursing practice. Believing so strongly in that statement has led her to publish and present scholarly work over the years on topics related to nursing education and how to engage with students.

Dr. Grady’s background includes leadership in professional nursing organizations such as the Ohio League for Nursing. She currently serves as an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Peer Evaluator and has participated on the ACEN Evaluation Review Panel numerous times.

When Dr. Grady is not busy doing nursing related activities, you can find her baking cookies. One year her family had to have an intervention with her since the amounts of cookies being baked in a week were more than they or the neighbors could consume.

Nursing Service Representatives

Carolyn Jo McCormies, MS, RN, APRN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner – Family Practice Primary Care Clinic
San Carlos Apache Healthcare
Peridot, Arizona

BIOGRAPHY - Carolyn Jo McCormies, MS, RN, APRN, FNP-BC

Ms. Carolyn Jo McCormies, MS, RN, APRN, FNP-BC has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years and a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner since 2004. She is working as a Family Nurse Practitioner exclusively with the Native American population in southeastern Arizona.
She is the previous Director of over 14 years for an Associate Degree Nursing program located in beautiful Thatcher, Arizona. Ms. McCormies has a love for rural healthcare and has practiced in most areas of nursing. She has had the privilege of traveling twice to Honduras on medical missions and caring for the people of that culture.

Ms. McCormies currently serves as a Commissioner for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). She has served in the capacity of a Peer Evaluator in the role of a Site Visitor for the ACEN for many years.

Additionally, Ms. McCormies has participated in writing both standard and NextGen NCLEX© test questions several times and was on the Standard Setting Panel for the 2019 NCLEX© RN exam.

Currently, Ms. McCormies serves on the Arizona State Board of Nursing (AZBN). She has served on all three of the subcommittees of the AZBN: the Education Advisory Committee; the Advanced Practice Committee, and the Scope of Practice committee, where she is currently the chair.

Ms. McCormies has served on the Selection Committee for the National League for Nursing (NLN) Center of Excellence designation.

She graduated with an Associate Degree from Mesa Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner from Arizona State University. Her greatest accomplishment is wife, mother, and grandmother.

Ms. McCormies’ professional memberships include the Arizona Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau. She was named “Outstanding Nurse Champion” in Arizona by the Arizona Nurses Association in 2017.

Vivian Yates, PhD, MSN, RN
Parish Nurse
Lorain County Parish Nursing
Lorain, Ohio

BIOGRAPHY - Vivian Yates, PhD, MSN, RN

Dr. Vivian Yates, PhD, MSN, RN, has been in the nursing profession for over 35 years. Her background includes clinical nursing, nursing academia, nursing administration, and nursing program accreditation. She currently serves as a community-based Parish Nurse in Lorain County, Ohio.

Dr. Yates served as the Dean of Nursing at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C); a multi-campus nursing program serving over 800 nursing students in the Greater Cleveland area, from 2013 to 2019. She continues to work at Tri-C as an adjunct nursing faculty member. She served as the Associate Director for Program Accreditation Support for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) in Atlanta, Georgia from 2009 – 2011 where she worked with administrators and faculty in practical, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, and clinical doctorate nursing programs to attain initial or continuing program accreditation. Committed to nursing program accreditation, she has continued to serve in various capacities at the ACEN including Site Visit Team Chair, Evaluation Review Panel Member, and a two-term member of the ACEN Board of Commissioners from 2016 – 2022. She consults with nursing schools nationally focusing on the areas of curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes. She was the Program Director of the Practical Nursing program and Professor in the Associate Degree Nursing program at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio for 22 years. She has also taught in the Baccalaureate Degree Nursing program at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio.

Dr. Yates earned an AAS in Nursing from Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, a BSN and a PhD in Education from the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, and an MSN from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She has served as a member of the American Nurses Association, the Ohio Nurses Association, the National League for Nursing, the Ohio League for Nursing, and the Ohio Council of Associate Degree Nursing Education Administrators. She currently serves as the Nursing Representative on the Board of Directors at University Hospitals – Western Market in Cleveland, Ohio.

Public Member Representatives

Barbara Ostrove, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA
Moultonborough, New Hampshire

BIOGRAPHY - Barbara Ostrove, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA

Ms. Barbara Ostrove, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA has 37 years clinical experience as a behavioral and mental health clinician working with children, adolescents and adults. Working within an inpatient, acute care setting she expanded group programing to include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, arts-based groups, and developed sensory de-escalation programs which reduced the use of seclusion and restraint.

Under her leadership the occupational therapy department and clinical education program expanded significantly, with the clinical education program drawing students from across the nation. Aside from her clinical role, Ms. Ostrove was a facilitator of the Care New England Leadership Development program. This multidisciplinary program provided training on leadership skills, conflict resolution, and team building.

Ms. Ostrove began volunteering as an academic accreditor in 2004 and has completed over 50 accreditation visits at both OT and OTA programs. Her six years on the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) included service on the Executive Committee and as mentoring chair. In 2016, after 12 years as a volunteer, Ms. Ostrove was offered the position of Assistant Director of Accreditation/Risk Manager at the American Occupational Therapy Association where she worked until retiring in 2022.

Since retiring Ms. Ostrove continues to serve as a volunteer accreditor and has begun working as a consultant to occupational therapy programs in the accreditation process. She is passionate about the need for improved behavioral and mental health care and developing the role for occupational therapy in community settings.

ACEN Nominating Committee Ballot

Candice Rome, DNP, RN, CNE
Professor of Nursing
Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs, North Carolina

BIOGRAPHY - Candice Rome, DNP, RN, CNE

Dr. Candice Rome, DNP, RN, CNE is an experienced nurse and certified nurse educator in both the clinical and academic settings. Her professional practice as a nurse has included working on hospital units such as medical-surgical, outpatient surgery, and women’s and children’s. Her practice has also included staff development and education.

Dr. Rome became a full-time faculty member at Gardner-Webb University, NC where she has taught in the Associate, Bachelor, Master’s, and Doctoral programs. Her academic teaching experience has been both clinical and didactic, face-to-face and online, with a focus on administration, education, maternal-child, senior seminar, NCLEX preparation, and research.

She teaches NCLEX-RN review courses, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses, and works as an item writer. Dr. Rome is experienced in item writing for both print and electronic nursing resources and has served several concurrent terms on the Editorial Advisory Board for Wolters Kluwer.

Currently, Dr. Rome serves on the Charlotte AHEC Regional Advisory Committee and co-leads medical mission trips for nursing students. She has presented at several regional and national conferences. Dr. Rome was a member of and completed the NLN LEAD program during 2021. Additionally, Dr. Rome has served as an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Site Visitor since 2015 and is well versed in ACEN’s expectations, criterions, and policies. Dr. Rome has also served as a Program Chair for pre-licensure and graduate programs, providing her with knowledge of program needs at all levels.

Jamey O’Shea, MSN, RN
Nursing Instructional Coordinator
Delaware Technical Community College – Terry Campus
Dover, Delaware


Ms. Jamey O’Shea, MSN, RN currently holds an 11-month appointment as the Instructional Coordinator for the Practical Nursing and Associate Degree Nursing programs at Delaware Technical Community College in Dover, Delaware. She graduated from Beebe School of Nursing in 1982 with a Diploma in Registered Nursing and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wilmington College (now Wilmington University) in 2001. She holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing awarded by Wilmington College in 2003. She has served in the role of nurse educator since 2003 and has held the role of Instructional Coordinator since 2013.

Ms. O’Shea teaches nursing fundamentals and maternity in the Practical program and leadership and maternity in the Associate Degree program. She has been an active member and past chairperson of the Curriculum Committee for both programs beginning with the development of the current ADN program concept-based curriculum in the fall of 2012. She worked in various maternal/child nursing settings for the majority of her career before joining Delaware Tech.

Ms. O’Shea received Delaware Tech’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013 and completed the College’s Leadership Development Program in 2019 and has served on numerous college and campus based-committees. She has served as an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Peer Evaluator in the role of Site Visit Team Member and currently in the role of Team Chair since 2016. Additionally, she has served as an ACEN Evaluation Review Panelist since 2019. Nursing education and teaching, both patients and nursing students have been a lifelong passion!

She lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with her husband. They have two daughters and two grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys the beach, traveling to warm climates, playing golf with her husband, and spending time with friends and family.