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NLN Responds to ACEN DOE Issues


Dear Colleagues,

We’d like to correct the inaccurate and misleading information ACEN is circulating in the nursing education community about accreditation.

Earlier today, ACEN emailed its constituents asking them to contact the NLN Board of Governors and “let them know that the future of your nursing program, students, faculty, and our profession depends on them [the NLN] doing the right thing.”

What ACEN means by “the right thing” is that the NLN should allow ACEN to completely sever their relationship and end their subsidiary status with us as per US Department of Education (DOE) regulations.

This is simply not true. The DOE has repeatedly stated that “the statutes and regulations do not require accrediting commissions that are part of membership associations to be separately incorporated.” Our colleagues, ACEN, are being disingenuous by stating that their compliance with DOE regulations is dependent on the NLN. If they are willing to work with us as a subsidiary (meeting the DOE regulations), we are willing to work with them.

In another example of the misinformation disseminated by ACEN, they claim that they “have tried numerous times to partner with the NLN to find a resolution…the League has not been cooperative.”

In the years since ACEN (formerly NLNAC) filed their initial lawsuit, we have had numerous face-to-face meetings, telephone conferences, and written communications to address their issues. These attempts were doomed to failure as ACEN is unwilling to accept anything less than complete separation from the NLN. We are not willing to give up ACEN as a subsidiary of the NLN and the DOE states that this is not required as one of their regulations.

Please be assured that the National League for Nursing is committed to meeting not only the regulations of the US Department of Education but to meeting the needs of nursing education and the nursing profession. It is very unclear why ACEN would threaten the accreditation of schools in their demand to be totally separate from the NLN. This is not a DOE requirement.




Marsha Howell Adams

Beverly Malone
Chief Executive Officer