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National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA)

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NLN CNEA Implements Teleworking Policies

With the spread of coronavirus across international, national, and local communities, NLN CNEA has temporarily closed its HQ office location in Washington, DC, and implemented teleworking for all staff effective immediately. NLN CNEA staff continue to be available to all programs, faculty, and others seeking information regarding NLN CNEA accreditation services. For assistance, contact the NLN CNEA by email for the quickest response.

NLN CNEA to Conduct Virtual Site Visits in Response to Pandemic Concerns

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the normal operations of schools of nursing and institutions of higher education, impacting the lives of faculty, students, and staff. Travel restrictions, social distancing requirements, and limitations on visitors to campuses and health care agencies demand innovative approaches to the ongoing business of accrediting programs and ensuring quality nursing education during this time of disruption. At its June 11-12 meeting, the NLN CNEA Board of Commissioners approved implementing, but not requiring, virtual program evaluation visits for programs scheduled to undergo review for Fall 2020.

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education has granted accrediting agencies temporary flexibility to develop and implement policies addressing virtual site visit processes, waiving the requirement for a period of public review for any newly developed policies. These virtual site visits will be conducted through the use of interactive technology, allowing for the program evaluation team to synchronously interact with program and campus personnel. Programs experiencing a virtual program evaluation visit will be required to host an in-person visit within a reasonable period of time following the virtual site visit.

NLN CNEA policies for conducting virtual site visits will be forthcoming.

NEW: Read the NLN CNEA's Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic with guidelines to manage your program's responses.

NEW: Read the Statement Regarding Nurse Practitioner Students and Direct Care Clinical Hours.

NEW: Read the Policy Brief: U.S. Nursing Leadership Supports Practice/Academic Partnerships to Assist the Nursing Workforce during the COVID-19 Crisis

Update on Status of NLN CNEA Petition for Initial Recognition by USDE
April 1, 2020

The National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA) is in the process of seeking initial recognition from the U. S. Department of Education (USDE). In July 2019, both the USDE Accreditation division staff and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) issued recommendations to grant NLN CNEA initial recognition, citing no issues or concerns. In November 2019, Deputy Undersecretary Diane Auer Jones issued a preliminary finding to deny initial recognition, raising concerns that had not previously been expressed by the Department. In response, the NLN CNEA has remained committed to working with the Department to seek clarification and provide a response to address the issues that were raised by Ms. Jones.

The NLN CNEA response to Ms. Jones was submitted in February 2020. USDE staff for the Accreditation division submitted their follow-up analysis and response in March 2020, once again recommending that the NLN CNEA be granted initial recognition for a period of five years, citing our compliance with the USDE rules and regulations. The NLN CNEA is now waiting for the Deputy Undersecretary to review these responses and render her final decision. In the event that the final decision is to deny recognition, that decision remains appealable to the Secretary of Education. The NLN CNEA continues to believe that its policies and procedures are in full compliance with the recognition criteria, as supported by the USDE staff and NACIQI recommendations. This does not affect your program’s pre-accreditation or accreditation status. The NLN CNEA will keep you updated on the status of the Department’s decision.

CNEAThe NLN’s accreditation services, represented by the NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (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 competent nursing workforce. CNEA carries out its accreditation activities guided by the National League for Nursing’s core values – caring, diversity, integrity, and excellence – as applied to the accreditation process. 


    Judith A. Halstead, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, ANEF, Executive Director; 202-909-2487

    Betsy Frank, RN, PhD, ANEF, Associate Director; 202-909-2542

    Lesleyan Jackson, MSA, Manager, Accreditation Services; 202-909-2526

    Ashley Turner, BS, Administrative Coordinator; 202-909-2538