The ACEN and KABONE Announce a Partnership

ATLANTA, September 16 , 2019 – On Friday, July 19, 2019, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Korean Accreditation Board of Nursing Education (KABONE) signed a memorandum of understanding, which entered the organizations into a cooperative partnership. The signing parties were Dr. Hee Soon Kim, the President of the KABONE and Dr. Marsal P. Stoll, Chief Executive Officer of the ACEN. The document was signed during the Merging Accreditation and Innovation: 2019 ACEN Nursing Education Accreditation Conference, which took place at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis (as pictured).

KABONE is both an accrediting and a regulatory agency located in Seoul, South Korea that specializes in accrediting baccalaureate and associate nursing programs. As the ACEN and KABONE both agree that there is a recognized need for providing accreditation of nursing education programs in order to promote and ensure quality of nursing education, they also agree that an organization’s accreditation standards and criteria should reflect the values of the nursing profession and accountability to the public.

The agencies anticipate participating in activities of mutual interest regarding accreditation for nursing programs. The memorandum excerpt below details some potential future interactions:

  1. Exchange appropriate and relevant information and issues (e.g., standards and procedures’ revisions)
  2. Opportunity to observe the evaluation process (e.g., site visit process)
  3. Reciprocal visits for common interests and objectives (e.g., conference invitation as a speaker or participant, meeting between representatives)
  4. Other ongoing basis activities of mutual interest regarding accreditation for nursing programs

When KABONE established their standards and criteria in 2004, the framework, values, and mission greatly matched what the ACEN (then, the NLNAC) had established. The memorandum was a long time coming, as the ACEN has had ongoing communications and a relationship with KABONE as early as 2007. Finding themselves to be in solidarity, the ACEN and KABONE began in 2007 to have ongoing communications regarding nursing program accreditation. Dr. Sharon Tanner, who was CEO of the ACEN (then NLNAC) in 2007, and Dr. Grace Newsome both visited South Korea. During their trip, they gave presentations related to accreditation processes, peer review, and quality evaluation. They also met with South Korean universities and nursing leaders to discuss South Korea’s establishment of nursing program accreditation. KABONE representatives also visited the ACEN office in 2007, and the relationship dedicated to serving nursing program accreditation became more firmly established.

These interactions grew into invitations for the ACEN professional staff to speak at KABONE conferences held in South Korea during 2012, where Dr. Suzette Farmer, Associate Director of the ACEN, presented information related to accreditation and ACEN outcomes assessment practices. Dr. Farmer was also given the opportunity to discuss nursing program accreditation progress, student learning outcomes, and program outcomes with some of South Korea’s nursing leaders. In 2014, Dr. Nell Ard was also extended the invitation to give presentations regarding clinical nursing education for the enhancement in clinical competency as well as learning outcomes and quality management in nursing education.

The ACEN is delighted to enter this formalized collaboration with the KABONE, seeking the best nursing program accreditation practices and eager to serve nursing students on the international scale.