Washington, DC, November 23, 2015 – The National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA); the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) have come together around the issue of academic progression in nursing. The three, which set national standards for nursing programs across the spectrum of higher education, released a joint statement affirming their endorsement of academic progression models in nursing. The statement was developed in cooperation with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) program. This is the first time the three accrediting bodies have collaborated on a statement addressing nursing education.
Judith Halstead, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, the executive director of the NLN CNEA, noted the importance of having the three national nursing accrediting agencies on the same page to advance this critical agenda. "It is critical that we all support quality and innovation in models of academic progression that prepare nurses to be leaders in health care," she remarked, adding, "The NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation is guided by the League’s core values – caring, diversity, integrity, and excellence – as applied to the accreditation process. We are committed to fulfilling our mission of influencing the preparation of a caring and competent nursing workforce."
The new statement cites the Institute of Medicine's landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which recommended that "nurses achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression."
The APIN statement says, in part:
The national nursing education accrediting agencies encourage nursing programs to pursue partnerships with institutions that establish educational pathways for seamless academic progression. The accrediting agencies collectively affirm a shared commitment to maintaining an open dialogue that will promote quality and innovation in academic progression models.
Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior adviser for nursing at RWJF, commented, "Our mission is to build a Culture of Health in our nation and, to do that, we must have a more highly educated, diverse workforce so everyone in America can live a healthier life….The encouragement and support these agencies will provide to institutions that are creating pathways for seamless progression will help make our country healthier."