ACEN: Your Supportive Partner during the COVID-19 Pandemic
By: Sharon Beasley, PhD, RN, CNE
We are living in our new reality: the COVID-19 pandemic and all its uncertainties. The ACEN Staff know that many of you have addressed issues that the pandemic has created for your families, students, and faculty. Your dedication to the nursing profession during this international crisis is commendable, and we appreciate all your efforts to educate students.
After a review of current COVID-19 trends, the ACEN has made a thoughtful decision to conduct all Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 site visits virtually. All site visits will be conducted as scheduled. However, each peer evaluator assigned to the site visit team will review your program virtually from a remote site. This decision was made in the interest of public safety, the safety of the ACEN peer evaluators, and in the best interest of students, faculty, and administrators. In addition, an onsite verification visit will be required once traveling is safe. Details, including the date(s) for the verification visit, will be determined at a later date. If your program is scheduled for a Fall 2020 visit or a Spring 2021 visit, please visit the ACEN website for Resources and Information for ACEN Virtual Site Visits.
In recent weeks, we have received inquiries regarding report deadlines. Just to be clear, we have NOT changed the deadlines for reports, visits, Evaluation Review Panel deliberations, and the Board of Commissioners meeting. As scheduled, Self-Study Reports and Focused Visit Reports should be submitted to the ACEN and site visit team no later than six weeks prior to the visit. Follow-Up Reports for programs on conditions that are due in Fall 2020 should be submitted to the ACEN no later than October 15, 2020. Follow-Up Reports for programs on conditions that are due Spring 2021 should be submitted to the ACEN no later than March 15, 2021. Self-Study Reports, Focused Visit Reports, and Follow-Up Reports that are due Fall 2020 will be reviewed during the January 25–28, 2021 Evaluation Review Panel and the March 24–25, 2021 Board of Commissioners meeting. Self-Study Reports, Focused Visit Reports, and Follow-Up Reports that are due in Spring 2021 will be reviewed during the June 7–10, 2021 Evaluation Review Panel and the September 8–9, 2021 Board of Commissioners meeting. Further, the Annual Report will be due in October 2020. Emails for the Annual Report will be distributed in August.
Although the ACEN Staff are working remotely, we are still your supportive partner and here to facilitate your success. Like many of you, the ACEN Staff are maintaining routine business hours and are available by email and telephone, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Further, you may contact us from a link conveniently located on the ACEN homepage. Please send us questions and comments; we want to hear from you.
The ACEN Staff know that you have been overwhelmed with pandemic-related issues, but we are here to support you. So, as former President Calvin Coolidge said, “Press on, nothing can take the place of persistence.” As your supportive partner, the ACEN can help you through this. Let’s “press on” together.