N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide 1.8 Accreditation of Academic Programs Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) The ACEN supports the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public by the functions of accreditation. The ACEN was formerly known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC), and changed its name in April of 2013. Accreditation is a voluntary, self-regulatory process by which non-governmental associations recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality. Accreditation also assists in the further improvement of the institutions or programs as related to resources invested, processes followed, and results achieved. The monitoring of certificate, diploma, and degree offerings is tied closely to state examination and licensing rules, and to the oversight of preparation for work in the profession. • Purpose : The ACEN is the entity that is responsible for the specialized accreditation of nursing education programs, both postsecondary and higher degree, which offers a certificate, a diploma, or a recognized professional degree (clinical doctorate, master’s/post-master’s certificate, baccalaureate, associate, diploma, and practical). • Goals: The Commission has authority and accountability inherent in the application of standards and criteria, accreditation processes, and the affairs, management, policy-making, and general administration of the ACEN. o Promulgate a common core of standards and criteria for the accreditation of nursing programs found to meet those standards and criteria. o Strengthen educational quality through assistance to associated programs and schools, and evaluation processes, functions, publications, and research. o Advocate self-regulation in nursing education. o Promote peer review. o Foster educational equity, access, opportunity, mobility, and preparation for employment based upon type of nursing education. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is the accrediting arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The CCNE accredits baccalaureate and graduate education programs only. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. The Commission ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing. The Commission serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and post-baccalaureate nurse residency programs. The CCNE accreditation is a nongovernmental peer review process that operates in accordance with nationally recognized standards established for the practice of accreditation in the United States.