N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide Accreditation by CCNE is intended to accomplish at least five general purposes: • To hold nursing programs accountable to the community of interest, including the nursing profession, consumers, employers, higher education, students and their families, and nurse residents. It also ensures that these programs have mission statements, goals, and outcomes that are appropriate to prepare individuals to fulfill their expected roles. • To evaluate the success of a nursing program in achieving its mission, goals, and expected outcomes. • To assess the extent to which a nursing program meets accreditation standards. • To inform the public of the purposes and values of accreditation and to identify nursing programs that meet accreditation standards. • To foster continuing improvement in nursing programs and, thereby, in professional practice. The scope of the CCNE is to serve higher education institutions and acute care hospitals throughout the United States. 1.9 Credentialing In 1988, the ANA established the American Nurses Credentialing Center Certification (ANCC), which assumed all of the ANA credentialing activities. The ANCC certification is a method of recognizing nurses who have special expertise. Applicants must demonstrate current practice and knowledge beyond what is required for licensure as an RN. This is the proof of competence, quality of practice, or proof of a nurse’s ability. Voluntary credentialing is generally known as certification. After submitting evidence of completing all requirements, a nurse may take the national examination for a specific certification. This is done so that nurses can prove their knowledge in a specialty area of practice as gained through education and examination. Certification is granted for a period of five years, after which a nurse may renew the certification by submitting new evidence of current practice and ability. Various organizations, including the ANA and other specialty groups, provide credentialing. In 1991, eight national nursing certification programs joined to establish the American Board of Nursing Specialties. These organizations included the ANCC of the ANA, The American Board for Occupational Health Nursing, the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing, the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists, the National Board of Nutritional Support Certification, the Nephrology Nursing Certification Board, and the Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Report. Specialty organizations also issue standards for the specialty care of patients. The Association of Operating Room Nurses is an example of such a specialty organization. These standards of care should be obtained and used where applicable. 1.10 Continuing Education Continuing education in nursing is defined as planned learning experiences beyond a basic nursing educational program. The learning experiences are designed to promote the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes for the enhancement of nursing practice, thus improving healthcare to the public.