For each Criterion, the ACEN Guidelines for Written Reports include a number of Focused Questions. The Focused Questions were developed to help programs explore and consider the essential components of each Criterion statement. While the Focused Questions can be used to guide thinking and writing about a program’s compliance with each Standard and Criteria, the Focused Questions in the updated guidelines should not be the only frame of reference used by program leaders and nursing faculty to guide the writing of reports for the ACEN. Program leaders and nursing faculty should study and develop their own understanding of the Standards and Criteria in order to ensure that any written report adequately and accurately describes the unique characteristics of each nursing education program they offer.
Also embedded within the Focused Questions are “notes” that are important for programs to ensure they are in compliance with the Standards and Criteria. For example, the Focused Questions for Criterion 4.9 outlines the ACEN’s expectations regarding clinical/practicum required of all nursing education programs and program accountability for precepted clinical/practicum learning experiences.