All Moved In!

Written by Lori Sharpe, Operations Administrative Assistant at the ACEN


Who moves during a pandemic?

We do! The ACEN moved to our new location, 3390 Peachtree Road Northeast Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326.

Let’s have a look. Come inside.

No matter what location, the ACEN will always be your supportive partner in nursing education accreditation.

How does our move impact your ACEN-accredited program?

According to ACEN Policy #9 Disclosure of Information About an Accredited Program, your nursing program must have accurate, updated information when citing the ACEN on communications to nursing students, the website, printed materials, on social media. If you have not done so, please be sure to share our new address (only 2 city blocks from the previous address) with your billing department or business office.


Are You Ready for the Hybrid Self-Study Forum Coming this November?

Written by Keri Nunn-Ellison, EdD, MSNEd, RN, CNE, Director at the ACEN


Are you ready for an in-person Self-Study Forum? We are! Still want to tune in from home online? We can do that, too!

Though the ACEN provided an eCourse option for folks to learn about or refresh their understanding of the 2017 ACEN Standards and Criteria, we heard from many of you that you wanted the option to join us in person again. So, we are excited to host our first in-person forum (since March 2020!) in Houston, Texas! Register today, as seating for this forum is limited to ensure the safety of all participants.* In addition to the in-person option, the event will be available virtually for individuals who may not want or be able to travel just yet.

The Self-Study Forum is a great opportunity for program administrators and faculty who are writing an accreditation report, preparing for a site visit, or just wanting to learn more about the Standards and Criteria. During this 1.5-day workshop, the ACEN Directors will review all six ACEN Standards and assist you in gaining a deeper understanding of each Criterion within the Standards, and you will earn 10 nursing continuing professional development contact hours!

The goal of the forum is to support nursing faculty and administrators with their understanding of how they might demonstrate compliance with the Standards and Criteria through the narrative of a written accreditation report and identify examples of potential supporting evidence. Special attention is given to the most common challenges based on ACEN data, including Criteria in Standards 4 and 6. We encourage you to bring your program’s systematic plan of evaluation (SPE) for real-time application of what you are learning! And as usual, this is a great opportunity to network with others as well as get specific questions answered by the ACEN Staff. We hope to see you in Houston!

*The ACEN understands that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. According to our CEO Dr. Marcy Stoll, “We are working closely with the Westin Galleria and formed a partnership to protect the safety of attendees. The hotel agreed to follow all the COVID-19 safety practices/guidelines hotel-wide issued by the CDC or Marriott Corporation, whichever are more restrictive at the time of the event.” Additionally, all in-person attendees must provide proof of being fully vaccinated per the CDC definition and the number of in-person attendees is limited to ensure safe distancing.


Mingle with Marcy, October 2021

MINGLE WITH MARCY: Entering Fall 2021 with nursing in mind 

By Dr. Marcy Stoll, EdD, MSN | CEO | ACEN
October 2021 

When every second counts, nurses are among the many first responders that run toward a need offering their help. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, I knew every second counted, and I wanted to help too by volunteering to be a vaccinator. I had an inactive registered professional nurse license in New York and Virginia, and both states reactivated my license quickly. I joined ServGA and the Medical Reserve Corps in my county, and I completed the online training required to be a vaccinator. Then I found out I could not obtain my registered professional nurse license in Georgia because I was not qualified per the board of nursing licensure by endorsement requirements, and as a resident of Georgia I did not qualify for a Georgia emergency temporary permit in response to the emergency declaration issued by the governor.

Accepting “no” is not in my nature. Besides, I really wanted to help and knew I could. So, I volunteered in a non-clinical role to assist with vaccination efforts in my community, and my journey began to obtain my registered professional nurse license in Georgia. I had to enroll in an approved Georgia Board of Nursing RN Re-entry Program and was fortunate to connect with Kristie Washington, the RN Re-entry/CE Coordinator at Blue Ridge Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The RN Re-entry Program, per the Georgia Board of Nursing, is a combination of 40 hours of independent study relevant to nursing, a written examination, and 160 hours of supervised nursing practice.

Another friend in this journey was Diane Durrence, the Chief Nurse/Women’s Health Director for the Georgia Department of Public Health. I connected with Diane in the early days of setting up vaccination sites when I was trying to find ways for nursing faculty and students in ACEN-accredited nursing programs in Georgia to assist with vaccination efforts in their communities. Diane and her team were instrumental in helping make these connections. Little did I know that I would need Diane’s help making a connection for me personally. I remained steadfast about helping my community, and Diane opened the door for me to complete my clinical hours with the Cobb-Douglas Public Health Department (CDPHD). Thanks to my mentor Dawn Krahwinkle, Deputy Director for CDPHD’s Center for Clinical Services, I spent 40 hours in the childhood/travel immunization clinic, 40 hours in the child health clinic, and 80 hours in the adult health clinic. And finally, I was also able to volunteer as a vaccinator at some CDPHD community events. YIPPEE!

Dawn Krahwinkle (left), Marcy Stoll (right)

I am happy to say I obtained my Georgia multi-state registered professional nurse license. It takes a village to make just one nurse. I can’t offer enough gratitude to my village—everyone at the ACEN for their patience while I was on PTO doing my clinical hours and especially Suzette Farmer, an ACEN Director, whose invaluable guidance helped navigate the New York, Virginia, and Georgia boards of nursing licensing processes and paperwork. Additional appreciation is owed to the staff and nurses at CDPHD. Thank you EVERYONE for your help reaching this goal that found me.

What happens now? I want to serve my community by volunteering at a local community-based organization and participating in mission trips in the future.

Marcy

ACEN Everywhere and Webinars Bring Accreditation to You!

Written by Suzette Farmer, PhD, RN, Director at the ACEN


Did you know that the ACEN has a number of professional development offerings designed to help you better understand accreditation? The ACEN Staff are continually working to ensure you have easy access to self-directed learning activities on your schedule.

We have free eCourses and webinars that you can access from the comfort of your office or home on any electronic device. Some of these offerings also provide you with contact hours for nursing continuing professional development. We add new offerings, such as the new eCourse on the recent changes to ACEN definitions of Program Completion and Program Option, as needed. There are webinars about special topics such as outcomes assessment and the ACEN candidacy process. There is also an eCourse that allows you access to the Standards and Criteria training completed by all peer evaluators! Check out these free offerings here.

In addition to the open access eCourses and webinars, the ACEN offers select virtual learning experiences through ACEN Everywhere. ACEN Everywhere provides access to fee-based eCourses such as “Understanding and Applying the ACEN Standards and Criteria.” These eCourses allow you to learn at your own speed and on your own timetable. You will earn contact hours for nursing continuing professional development, and you can review the content as many times as desired during your access period. Check out ACEN Everywhere here.


Returning to Normal! ACEN’s First Post-Covid In-Person Self-Study Forum

Is your nursing program preparing for a site visit? The ACEN recommends that nursing program faculty and leaders attend a Self-Study Forum within two years prior to your program’s upcoming site visit. The forum is a 1.5-day workshop that provides attendees the opportunity to become more familiar with the ACEN Standards and Criteria and become comfortable with the idea of composing a Self-Study Report as required by the upcoming site visit. Participants receive 10 CEs.

The Self-Study Form on November 1‒2, 2021 in Houston, TX will be the first in-person event the ACEN has hosted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. According to the ACEN’s Chief Executive Officer, Marsal Stoll, the ACEN is working closely with the host location “to protect the safety of attendees. The hotel agreed to follow all the COVID-19 safety practices/guidelines hotel-wide issued by the CDC or Marriott Corporation, whichever are more restrictive at the time of the event.”

You can learn more about the Self-Study Forum and register here.

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) Coordinate Efforts To Support Nursing Education’s Role In Vaccine Strategy.

ATLANTA, GA -The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) are strategically collaborating to assist the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination effort. Together, the organizations will advocate for an increased role for nursing education programs in the vaccine rollout to help meet the goals set forth by the Biden Administration. Through this collaboration, the ACEN and OADN will disseminate information and approaches that can assist nursing programs in identifying how students and nursing faculty can safely and effectively support vaccination education and efforts in their communities. ACEN accredited programs and OADN member schools can be found in every state, as well as U.S. territories and abroad, and these programs are poised to assist in the scaling of vaccine delivery.

The ACEN and OADN strongly encourage nursing programs to actively identify how they can support vaccine delivery in their communities. For full engagement in the vaccine effort, our organizations urge nursing students and faculty to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them.

“OADN believes that nursing education programs have an important role to play in the unprecedented effort to vaccinate the entire population. Nursing students and faculty have expertise and skills that should be engaged to safely accelerate the vaccine rollout,” said Donna Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of OADN. “The Biden Administration’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness encourages states leveraging practical and registered nursing students to surge their vaccinator workforce. OADN and the ACEN believe that this one important strategy towards achieving the Administration’s vaccination goals and ensuring vaccine equity.”

“The ACEN is dedicated to ensuring the highest standards in nursing education. Our broad community of over 1200 accredited nursing education programs is well-prepared to help the nation meet the herculean task of wide-scale vaccination, while simultaneously continuing to prepare the nursing workforce for the future. The ACEN supports students participating in the COVID immunization efforts, as these efforts could be considered Clinical/Practicum Learning Experiences as defined in the ACEN Glossary. Nursing program engagement in the vaccination effort can take many forms, including vaccine administration, patient education, community outreach, and contact tracing, among others,” said Marsal Stoll, Chief Executive Officer for the ACEN. “In a letter to the nursing administrators of ACEN accredited programs on February 1, 2021, the ACEN shared how the Georgia Department of Health is engaging nursing students and faculty to support mass vaccination sites in the state. We encourage all stakeholders to consider this strategy, which includes just in time training and memoranda of understanding, when developing an approach in your state or area.”

“The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has stipulated that clinical trainees, including nursing students, can be trained and utilized as vaccinators at VA vaccine administration sites. Local nursing program deans and directors are encouraged to reach out to local VA nursing leadership to identify the best way to get involved. We will also continue to closely monitor the Biden Administration’s vaccination policies and regulations. This includes any amendments made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act),” continued Stoll.

“Additionally, the National Student Response Network (NSRN), an interprofessional collaborative of health professions students, is seeking nursing student volunteers for various roles in mass vaccination. Students interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact their regional or state coordinator,” noted Meyer.

“On the vaccine education front, the American Nurses Association is developing a coordinated vaccination messaging campaign which will provide COVID-19 vaccine information, encourage all nurses to be vaccinated, and promote vaccine education and uptake by consumers,” added Meyer. “OADN is participating in the development of this messaging campaign and will be sharing the communication tools and related resources once they are completed.”

The ACEN and OADN have joined the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project which aims to promote equitable access to authorized and approved vaccines through equitable access to information and dialogue. The Project will foster dialogues to address and reduce vaccine skepticism, with the goal to promote equitable vaccine distribution and improved health outcomes for communities hit hardest by COVID-19.

Nursing education programs are encouraged to share how they are supporting the mass vaccination effort; please, share your stories here.  Continue to follow the ACEN’s COVID-19 News and Announcements and OADN’s COVID-19 Resources for more information and further developments.

About the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

ACEN supports the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public by the functions of accreditation. Accreditation is a peer-review, self-regulatory process by which non-governmental associations recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality for all levels of nursing education and transition-to-practice programs located in the United States, U.S. Territories, and internationally. www.acenursing.org  

About the Organization of Associate Degree Nursing (OADN)

OADN is the national voice and a pivotal resource for community college nursing education and the associate degree pathway. We work to expand networks that promote leadership, collaboration, and advocacy to further enrich nursing education and the communities we serve. Online at www.oadn.org

Mingle with Marcy, November 2019

MINGLE WITH MARCY

Your CEO Answers Frequently Asked Questions

By Dr. Marcy Stoll, EdD, MSN | CEO | ACEN
Bridges, Volume XIII – Issue 4, November 2019

What is the impact of the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education on accreditation?

National, regional, and specialized accreditors that oversee institutional and/or programmatic accreditation are recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

  1. The U.S. Secretary of Education is charged with ensuring that an accrediting agency meets specific requirements established by Congress. Depending on the recognition granted by the USDE to the accrediting agency, students attending institutions or programs located in the United States and U.S. Territories may be eligible for federal student financial aid assistance and other federal funding (e.g., HRSA).
  2. The CHEA Board of Directors is charged with ensuring that an accrediting agency meets specific standards established by the CHEA Board of Directors. Recognition by CHEA does not provide students access to any type of financial aid assistance.

The ACEN is recognized as the accrediting agency for all types of nursing education by the USDE and CHEA, and is the only nursing accrediting agency recognized by both entities. The USDE recognition of the ACEN also allows students enrolled in all types of nursing education programs offered by certain institutions to participate in financial aid programs administered by the USDE and other federal agencies. The CHEA recognition also facilities ACEN accreditation of nursing programs outside of the United States.

The USDE and CHEA have recognition criteria unique to each organization that an accrediting agency must meet to be recognized by the USDE or CHEA. The ACEN meeting the USDE and/or CHEA recognition criteria is equivalent to a nursing program meeting the ACEN Standards and Criteria for initial or continuing accreditation.

To what extent does the USDE and CHEA impact ACEN accreditation?

The short answer is “there is a great deal of impact” by both organizations and most especially by the USDE.

USDE Impact: The Higher Education Act (HEA) is the law that is the basis for the USDE regulations that accrediting agencies must follow to be recognized. The HEA has been rewritten eight times since it initially passed in 1965, and like any federal law, is “driven by the times.” Federal regulations changed variably each time the law was rewritten, and all accrediting agencies must change to comply with the most current federal regulations. Sometimes the changes only impacts the accrediting agency, but sometimes institutions/programs are impacted as well. An example of this is the current focus on student achievement indicators, such as licensure examination pass rate, completion rate, and job placement rate.

CHEA Impact: There is no law that serves as the basis for CHEA recognition criteria; however, CHEA is aware of the trends happening throughout the United States and globally. Therefore, CHEA recognition criteria are similar to the USDE, only differing as CHEA focuses on international educational quality, which is not part of USDE regulation. An example of one of CHEA’s similar criteria pertains to student achievement.

New Leadership Offerings at OADN

NEW LEADERSHIP OFFERINGS AT OADN!

By Mary Dickow, MPA, FAAN | Director of Strategic Initiatives | Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN)
Bridges, Volume XIII – Issue 4, November 2019

At the 2019 Convention, OADN worked in partnership with the ACEN to deliver a full-day session entitled Be the Leader You Would Follow: Essentials for Great Leadership in Nursing. That session drew enormous interest from nurse educators attracted to this full-day, interactive experience. It provided the participants the opportunity to work on personal leadership development plans as well as to gain valuable tools and resources to take back to their programs to address real-time solutions. Other sessions offered on Professional Identity in Nursing and Critical Conversations were two of the highest attended breakout sessions, targeting important issues for nurse educators. OADN remains committed to staying engaged with the leadership pulse by paying attention to the current trends that affect nursing education and contributing to the success of nurse educators.

OADN understands the challenges and hurdles nurse educators face every day. With a goal to prepare them with the tools to address these challenges, OADN is planning to offer new leadership development opportunities to identify solutions. An exciting leadership development track is in the works for the 2020 Convention with topics such as mentoring, goal setting, and succession planning. As the only national nursing organization representing ADN programs, we have a responsibility to offer a strong leadership platform for new directors and faculty aspiring to lead. Everything OADN does to better prepare nurse educators is a reflection on the students and the communities surrounding the many community colleges across the nation. OADN is ready now more than ever to contribute to the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the vision of creating healthier communities—one nurse leader at a time.

Working with national leaders such as the ACEN, OADN is in the process of developing webinars and pop-up sessions on hot topics in leadership to offer throughout the year. In addition, OADN is exploring ways to incorporate what was gained from the recent membership survey to demonstrate a commitment to taking what nurse educators say they need, then creating valuable content to address those needs. As OADN continues to grow, it is essential to acknowledge the importance of growing and mentoring new leaders while providing unique opportunities for the more seasoned leaders as well. OADN is committed to developing successful nurse leaders with a vision for 2020 and beyond!

Top 10 Ways to Get or Keep Your Faculty Engaged

TOP 10 WAYS TO ENGAGE FACULTY IN THE ACCREDITATION PROCESS!

By Suzette Farmer, PhD, RN | Director | ACEN
Bridges, Volume XIII – Issue 4, November 2019

Ever wondered how to engage faculty in the accreditation process? Read this article to see the Top 10 strategies for engaging faculty and ensuring program success during your next accreditation site visit!

 

Live accreditation every day—be visit-ready all the time. Create a culture where accreditation is not a dirty word!! For example, use ACEN terminology during meetings…make accreditation processes “normal” and familiar in your daily work as a nurse educator.

 

Appreciate and acknowledge how accreditation can help you be a better faculty member and a better program. As you become more familiar with the Standards and Criteria, you will recognize how curriculum (Standard 4) flows into outcomes (Standard 6); and soon, you will see how the ACEN’s emphasis on student learning and the end-of-program student learning outcomes can help you be a better and more effective nurse educator.

 

Use the Standards and Criteria as a framework for orienting new faculty. Don’t wait to introduce new faculty to accreditation and the ACEN Standards and Criteria. Once again, the emphasis on faculty qualifications and development, students and student learning, resources needed for program development and maintenance, the development and delivery of a curriculum designed to help graduates practice in a contemporary environment, and a focus on the achievement of end-of-program student learning outcomes and program outcomes will provide new nurse educators with a framework that will support them throughout their career in nursing education.

 

Keep it simple, don’t overthink the accreditation process. The Standards and Criteria are simply statements of good educational and academic practice. The Standards and Criteria are designed to help programs achieve and maintain quality…they are indicators of quality as determined by your nurse faculty peers. A program that is in compliance with the Standards and Criteria is not jumping through hoops; they are intentionally doing the “right thing” for their students and the profession!

 

Consider taking advantage of optional services offered by the ACEN, such a being an Observer on a site visit team or taking advantage of an Advisory Review. These optional services can help you be more familiar with the accreditation process and the activities of the site visit team (Observer); or, they can help you and your faculty develop a deeper understanding of selected Standards within the specific context of your program (Advisory Review).

 

Share accountability for maintaining accreditation readiness. The nurse administrator is not an island. When the work of accreditation is distributed among the faculty, everyone—including the students—benefits. Sharing accountability helps ensure the program is always ready for a visit, and it can help minimize the chaos that sometimes occurs before an accreditation visit. It also provides a means for faculty to provide service to the program and develop leadership skills!

 

Develop knowledge about and understanding of the Standards and Criteria. Don’t believe “urban legends” about accreditation—find out for yourself! Many people believe things about accreditation that simply are not true, such as the myth that you have to have a graduating class before you can be accredited (which isn’t true). Study the Standards and Criteria, review ACEN policies, and ask questions! The ACEN is here to be your supportive partner in the accreditation journey.

 

Nurse administrators should listen to faculty and be open to their ideas, learn to appreciate their creativity, and be willing to take a few risks when faculty suggest new ways of doing things. If we want to prepare our students for a dynamic healthcare environment, we need to be willing to make our nursing education programs more dynamic and move beyond “the way we’ve always done it” mentality. Don’t be afraid to try new approaches and be sure to give them some time to work! Celebrate innovation.

 

Encourage faculty to become peer evaluators for the ACEN and provide support for them to participate in site visits. Being a peer evaluator is an effective way to increase knowledge of the Standards and Criteria, learn from peers serving with you on the site visit team, and learn from the programs you visit. Dr. Sharon Beasley’s article will provide you more information about how becoming a peer evaluator benefits the program and the individual faculty member.

 

Send faculty members to an ACEN Self-Study Forum! Self-Study Forums are held 2‒3 times a year in locations across the country. It’s an opportunity for attendees to interact with other nurse educators and the ACEN Directors….all while developing a deeper understanding of the Standards and Criteria. We hope to see you soon!

Living the ACEN Accreditation Process

LIVING THE ACEN ACCREDITATION PROCESS

By Sharon Beasley, PhD, RN, CNE | Director | ACEN
Bridges, Volume XIII – Issue 4, November 2019

Dr. Suzette Farmer’s Bridges article, Top 10 Ways to Engage Faculty in the Accreditation Process (2019) , provided techniques to engage faculty in the preparation for and maintenance of ACEN accreditation. As a corollary to Dr. Farmer’s article, Living the ACEN Accreditation Process outlines key definitions inherent in the four-step ACEN accreditation process, and the faculty’s opportunities to participate in various steps of the accreditation process. Let’s start with a review of definitions necessary to understand each step of the process.

Definitions and the Four-Step Process

1. The Self-Study Report (SSR) is a written document addressing the program’s self-evaluation regarding its compliance with the ACEN accreditation Standards and Criteria (2017 ACEN Guidelines for the Self-Study Report). The SSR is evidence that is evaluated by peer evaluators in each level of review; therefore, it should be written clearly and accurately.

2. The site visit team is a group of peer evaluators (educators and clinicians who are eligible to volunteer as described in ACEN’s Peer Evaluator Selection Criteria), who are knowledgeable about various program types, appropriate curricula, common practices, and trends in nursing education and practice. The peer evaluators on the site visit team provide an onsite review inclusive of interviews, observations, tours, and a review of exhibits. At the conclusion of the site visit, the peer evaluators complete a Site Visit Report (SVR) documenting their findings and a recommendation for accreditation.

3. The Evaluation Review Panel (ERP) is a group of peer evaluators who are appointed by the ACEN Board of Commissioners (BOC) to conduct its own independent analysis regarding the extent to which the program meets the ACEN Standards. The ERP represents peer evaluators from programs similar to the programs reviewed and clinicians from various geographic regions. At the conclusion of ERP deliberations, these peer evaluators offer their independent recommendation to the BOC based on the program’s SSR and the findings from the peer evaluators on the site visit team.

4. The BOC is responsible for making all accreditation decisions, and the Commissioners are elected by the nurse administrators from ACEN-accredited programs. Additionally, this 17-member Board is responsible for ensuring consistency in the application of the Standards and Criteria among all programs within each cycle. The Board reviews each program’s SSR, the SVR and recommendation, the ERP recommendation, any additional information if applicable, and renders an accreditation decision.

All of these terms are commonly used in the ACEN realm of accreditation. Notably, all of the definitions are steps within the accreditation process. The four steps in the process are the:

  • Submission of the Self-Study Report;
  • Site Visit;
  • Evaluation Review Panel’s recommendation; and
  • Board of Commissioners’ accreditation decision.

The first step in the accreditation process is the perfect opportunity for faculty to become familiar with the ACEN accreditation process from the faculty/program’s perspective. The remaining three steps provide additional opportunities for participation within the ACEN accreditation review process. However, the three remaining steps require faculty to become ACEN peer evaluators – what a wonderful opportunity! Thus, living the ACEN accreditation process relies on the volunteer efforts of peer evaluators.

Why Are Peer Evaluators Needed?

The ACEN is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit all levels of nursing programs (i.e., clinical doctorate/doctorate in nursing practice specialist certificate, master’s/post-master’s certificate, baccalaureate, associate, diploma, and practical). Therefore, peer evaluators are needed for all program types and three (i.e., site visit, ERP, and BOC) of four levels of review. Eligibility to serve as a peer evaluator requires a minimum of a graduate degree in nursing. However, to serve on a team that reviews a graduate program, peer evaluators serving as a nurse educator must have a master’s degree in nursing and an earned doctorate degree from a regionally accredited college/university. To serve on a team that reviews an undergraduate program, peer evaluators serving as a nurse educator must have a master’s degree in nursing. A nurse clinician must have a minimum of a graduate degree in nursing to review any program type (2019 ACEN Accreditation Manual, Section 1 General Information, pp. 21–22). Further, the process to become a peer evaluator is seamless and includes submission of a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, and a letter of recommendation. All documents must be submitted through our Nominate a Peer Evaluator portal located on the ACEN website.

Conclusion

Peer review is the core of the ACEN accreditation review process. The ACEN is fortunate to work with nearly 650 volunteer peer evaluators who ensure integrity of the accreditation review process by evaluating programs in three of four levels of the process. During each level of review, peer evaluators provide expertise from their current and past experiences in nursing education and practice. Peer evaluators offer their personal time and expertise to the nursing profession through their rigorous review of nursing programs. Serving as a peer evaluator is personally fulfilling and an altruistic act of serving a community of nursing students, educators, and clinicians. Yet, two of the most practical benefits are a broader and deeper understanding of the ACEN Standards and Criteria and exposure to various practices in nursing education. “…one of the most fulfilling attributes of the peer evaluator role is the opportunity to lend an expert voice to the accreditation review process and ultimately the quality of nursing education” (Beasley, Farmer, Ard, Nunn-Ellison, 2019).