The ACEN announces the appointment of Dr. Nell Ard as Interim Chief Executive Officer

Message from the ACEN Board of Commissioners Chair

January 25, 2023

I’m writing to share important news about the leadership of Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN).

Dr. Nell Ard
Interim Chief Executive Officer

On January 23, 2023, the Board of Commissioners for the ACEN appointed Dr. Nell Ard as the Interim Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Ard has served the ACEN for more than ten years, most recently in the position of Director. She has deep knowledge of the organization and stakeholders with more than three decades of experience in nursing education.

The appointment is effective immediately and follows the departure of Dr. Marcy Stoll who resigned from her position as ACEN Chief Executive Officer. We thank Dr. Stoll for her eight years of service and wish her well in her future endeavors. The ACEN Board of Commissioners will commence a search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer and has engaged a national executive search firm to help identify and evaluate qualified candidates.

We are pleased that Dr. Ard is stepping into the interim CEO role while we search for a permanent successor. For nearly two decades, Dr. Ard has been working for the ACEN. She began as a volunteer peer evaluator in 2004 and then joined the ACEN as a full-time Director in 2012. Dr. Ard’s 39-year nursing career has included working in hospitals with direct patient care, as well as teaching in diploma, associate, baccalaureate, and master’s programs. Dr. Ard has been a certified nurse educator (CNE) since 2007 and a Nurse Education Fellow (ANEF) since 2009. Dr. Ard has a baccalaureate degree in nursing from Harding University, a master’s degree in family nursing from West Texas A&M University, and a doctorate in philosophy in nursing with a focus in clinical research from the University of Texas Health Sciences in San Antonio. She has numerous publications related to nursing education and nursing accreditation.

With Dr. Ard’s leadership and ACEN’s experienced staff, we will continue to support and serve our programs and partners. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ard or your ACEN representative.

On behalf of ACEN, we are grateful for your continued partnership and look forward to continuing our relationship through this transition.


Diane Evans-Prior, DNP, RN
Chair, ACEN Board of Commissioners