GUIDELINES FOR THE SOLICITATION OF WRITTEN AND ORAL THIRD-PARTY COMMENTS

To make the accreditation process responsive to a broad range of constituents, the ACEN will receive written and oral third-party comments from the public concerning a program seeking initial accreditation or continuing accreditation.

  1. All nursing programs seeking initial accreditation must provide an opportunity for written and oral third-party comments from the public.
  2. All nursing programs seeking continuing accreditation must provide an opportunity for written and oral third-party comments from the public. This applies only during a program’s comprehensive review or a required follow-up visit. This does not apply during a focused visit review process.

The public is defined as any individual or group with an interest in but no direct responsibility for the development or delivery of a nursing program (e.g., patients/clients, non-nursing students, healthcare providers, and citizens). If an employee is unable to attend the meeting related to their respective department as scheduled on the site visit team’s agenda, the employee should submit a written comment to the ACEN.

All nursing programs must make a sincere and thoughtful attempt to identify members of the public and invite them to submit written and oral third-party comments regarding the program.

  1. Publication of information about the site visit
    • The ACEN requires nursing programs to publish information about the site visit using appropriate methods. The ACEN encourages the use of no or low cost means such as nursing program electronic newsletter, governing organization electronic publications, governing organization/nursing program website, email, social media, and/or postings at clinical agencies used by the program.
    • The information about the site visit must be published at least six (6) weeks before the first day of the site visit.
    • The information must invite the public to submit written comments to the ACEN; see #2 below.
    • The information must invite the public to make oral comments to the peer evaluators on the site visit team; see #3 below.
  2. The ACEN requires nursing programs to publish the ACEN contact information so members of the public can submit written third-party comments to the ACEN about the program. Sometimes there are a few written third-party comments, sometimes many written third-party comments, and sometimes no written third-party comments are submitted. Irrespective on the number of written third-party comments, the objective is for members of the public to have an opportunity to make written third-party comments concerning a program. All written third-party comments will be shared with the peer evaluators on the site visit team.
  3. The ACEN requires nursing programs to arrange a meeting during the site visit for the peer evaluators on the site visit team to meet with members of the public. Sometimes there are a few attendees, sometimes many attendees, and sometimes no attendees at this meeting. Irrespective on the number of attendees, the objective is for members of the public to have an opportunity to make oral third-party comments concerning a program.

VIEW EXAMPLE (for illustration purposes only)