USDE Grants Continued Recognition to the ACEN

ATLANTA, May 14 , 2018 – The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is proud to share that the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has once again granted recognition to the ACEN as a specialized accreditor for nursing education programs.

On May 9, 2018, the ACEN received the decision letter from Diane Auer Jones, Senior Policy Advisor form the Office of Postsecondary Education at the USDE, stating that the recognition of the ACEN was renewed for a period of five years in accordance with 34 CFR 602.36 of the Secretary of Education’s Criteria. This decision mirrors the recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) and the recommendation from USDE staff.

The ACEN has been recognized by the USDE continuously since 19521; however, what makes the recognition so momentous is the ACEN was awarded the maximum number of years possible, with no follow-up. This flawless result demonstrates that the ACEN is the gold standard of nursing education program accreditation.

“We are ecstatic to receive this five-year recognition decision from the USDE, which benefits nursing programs nationally and worldwide. This continued recognition acknowledges our commitment to quality nursing education through accreditation. The ACEN will remain focused on being a supportive partner for our accredited programs as we continue to be the leading authority for nursing education accreditation.”

The continued recognition by the USDE affirms that the ACEN standards and processes are consistent with the mission of the USDE – “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence”1 – and that the USDE has determined the ACEN to be a reliable authority “as to the quality of education or training provided by institutions of higher education.”2 The ACEN also continues to be the only USDE recognized accrediting agency for nursing programs at the practical, diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, master’s degree, and clinical doctorate levels.

To learn more about the history of accreditation in the United States or about the significance of USDE recognition, please visit the Department’s website at

The USDE scope of recognition for the ACEN is: “Accreditation of nursing education programs and schools, both postsecondary and higher degree, which offer a certificate, diploma, or a recognized professional degree including clinical doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, associate, diploma, and practical nursing programs in the United States and its territories, including those offered via distance education. Title IV Note: Practical, diploma, associate, baccalaureate, and higher degree nursing education programs that are not located in a regionally accredited institutions may use accreditation by this agency to establish eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.”3