Accreditation Resources for International Programs


Recognizing that educational institutions are expanding their nursing programs to foster access and that such expansion initiatives increasingly involve global outreach efforts, the ACEN strongly encourages and welcomes international (non-U.S.) nursing programs to pursue international nursing accreditation with the ACEN. The ACEN is committed to quality in all types of nursing education programs and encourages self-evaluation, peer review, and the promotion of educational equity, access, and mobility through the functions of accreditation.

The benefits of ACEN accreditation:

  • Increases your global reach
  • Helps your students meet U.S. undergraduate and graduate level nursing program admission requirements
  • Facilitates the transfer of credits
  • Provides recognition that your nursing program has been evaluated, and periodically re-evaluated, by a qualified independent group of peers and demonstrates the extent to which the program meets appropriate educational purposes and standards of educational quality specific to nursing education
  • Fosters ongoing self-evaluation, re-evaluation, and focus on the future
  • Heightens faculty members’ and administrators’ awareness and responsiveness to areas needing improvement
  • Assists employers seeking graduates who are competent practitioners

International nursing programs must be strong candidates for success in achieving initial ACEN accreditation. Accreditation decisions for international nursing programs will be made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners based on recommendations of the peer evaluators who visit the program and the peer evaluators on the Evaluation Review Panel as well as the Board’s own review of program materials. The international nursing program’s participation in the Candidacy process and initial accreditation review do not guarantee initial accreditation will be granted by the ACEN Board of Commissioners.

An international nursing program seeking initial accreditation must apply for Candidacy.

For more resources, such as a guide to the candidacy presentation and next steps once you’ve achieved candidacy, please visit our Candidacy page.