The 2023-2024 Election Results are In!

The 2023-2024 Election Results are In!

Published June 14, 2023

Please welcome the new members of your ACEN Board of Commissioners and Nominating Committee!

THE VOTES ARE IN! Effective October 1, 2023, there are newly elected and re-elected Commissioners who will join the Board and a newly elected representative joining the Nominating Committee.

Board of Commissioners

Each Commissioner will serve a three-year term from October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2026. The 17 Board of Commissioners represent the following roles: 11 nursing education representatives, 3 nursing service representatives, and 3 public representatives. This diversification ensures your ACEN Board of Commissioners are able to give balanced representation from across identified constituencies insofar as possible.

The Board of Commissioners is a governing board and has the authority of a governing board, which is (1) ensuring the financial resources of the ACEN such as setting the fee schedule, budget, and reviewing the audit; (2) setting policy such as the policies found in the Accreditation Manual and the Standards and Criteria; and (3) most importantly, having the sole authority to determine the accreditation status of nursing programs.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee prepares the slate of candidates for the ACEN Board of Commissioners from the nominations made. The newly elected Nominating Committee representative will serve a three-year term effective October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2026.

We are very excited to congratulate our new and returning members of the Board of Commissioners and Nominating Committee Member!

Nursing Educator Representatives

Diane Evans-Prior, DNP, RN (Re-elected)
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.

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 Representative

Carolyn Jo McCormies, MS, RN, APRN, FNP-BC (Re-elected)
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.

Public Member

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.

Nominating Committee Member

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.