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Spring 2015


Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of the NLN CNEA inaugural Board of Commissioners and the Standards Committee, I am pleased to present the first newsletter of the NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation. Watch for the CNEA Connection, three times a year, to keep up to date with our activities.

Please let us know what you think. We welcome your feedback at

Judith A. Halstead, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF
Executive Director, NLN CNEA

Results of the General Accreditation Survey

As NLN CNEA lays the groundwork for beginning accreditation activities, it is important to seek input from the diverse nursing education community that we serve. To this end, NLN CNEA developed a survey soliciting feedback from faculty, deans, directors, and other stakeholders in nursing education on their thoughts about the accreditation process. The survey gathered general input about the value of accreditation, concerns about the accreditation process, expectations of an accrediting body, and resources helpful in navigating the accreditation process.

We were delighted that more than 1,100 stakeholders provided thoughtful, sincere feedback. These responses came from across the spectrum of nursing education programs: we heard from all program types (LPN through clinical doctorate); we received feedback from nurse educators in 48 states and the District of Columbia; and we heard from administrators, full- and part-time nursing faculty, and practice partners.

Despite the diversity of those we serve, there were many common themes in these responses. In particular, the NLN core values of caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence were evident in the responses including:

bullet  A call for a collegial approach, good customer service, and mentorship in the accreditation process
bullet  Transparency in expectations and consistency in applying accreditation standards are highly valued by deans and faculty
bullet  A desire for the accreditation process to recognize the diversity of nursing programs, particularly in terms of institution resources and geographic challenges.
bullet  Finally, accreditation is a sign of excellence for a nursing program; corresponding to this, an expectation that NLN CNEA reflect excellence in its practices

It is clear that stakeholders consider accreditation to be not only a mark of outstanding program quality, but a valuable opportunity to engage in continuous quality improvement. Many programs have concerns about the cost of accreditation, not merely in terms of financial resources, but also human capital. Overall, the accreditation process is viewed as a positive, yet stressful, experience for nurse educators.

Nurse educators have many thoughts about how to ease that stress:

bullet  Use of technology by the accreditation agency to simplify the accreditation process
bullet  Webinars and in-person workshops for faculty
bullet  Online application and communication processes
bullet  Samples of self-studies and other documents involved in the accreditation process
bullet  Support tailored to new nursing faculty unfamiliar with the accreditation process
bullet  Clarity and transparency about both accreditation standards and the accreditation process
bullet  Knowledge that their programs are being evaluated fairly and realistic, achievable standards in place
bullet  A collegial approach to their work from all those associated with the accreditation process - from staff to site visitors - offering support and guidance as programs navigate the rewarding and challenging process of pursuing accreditation

The NLN CNEA Steering and Standards Committees, and staff thank everyone who took the time to offer their feedback. The opportunity to hear from such a diverse range of stakeholders at a critical time in the development of NLN CNEA's policies and procedures has been invaluable. By knowing more about the needs of nursing programs, we are well-positioned to ensure that our processes and the resources we provide will meet those needs. This feedback will be considered as NLN CNEA leadership finalizes our accreditation standards, designs policies and procedures for accreditation, and looks ahead to developing resources for nursing programs.

-Reported by Maggie Taylor, Administrative Coordinator, NLN CNEA

About the NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation

NLN CNEA promotes excellence and integrity in nursing education globally through an accreditation process that respects the diversity of program mission, curricula, students, and faculty, emphasizes a culture of continuous quality improvement, and influences the preparation of a caring and skilled nursing workforce.

Archived Events
Upcoming Events
  • March 16-17
    NLN CNEA Standards Committee Meeting
  • April 9-10
    NLN CNEA Inaugural Board of Commissioners Meeting