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National League for Nursing Expands Signature ACE Program

NLN Announces 2017 Centers of Excellence (COE) in Nursing Education
September 12, 2017

Program Contact: Elaine Tagliareni
Press Contact: Karen R. Klestzick

National League for Nursing Expands Signature ACE Program

Introducing ACE.D: Advancing Care Excellence for Persons with Disabilities

Washington, DC, September 12, 2017 - The NLN Center for Excellence in the Care of Vulnerable Populations has again expanded its highly regarded free professional resources for nurse educators. Advancing Care Excellence for Persons with Disabilities (ACE.D) has joined the in-demand ACE line-up, with new easily accessible and downloadable content from a dedicated NLN ACE.D microsite (URL).

Following the successful ACE framework-unfolding cases and teaching strategies-the ACE.D curriculum has been developed in collaboration with a team from Villanova University College of Nursing, under the direction of Suzanne Smeltzer, RN, EdD, ANEF, FAAN. Dr. Smeltzer is a professor and director of the college's Center for Nursing Research. Initial funding for the project has been provided by the Inglis Foundation of Philadelphia.

"While more than 60 million people in the US are living with some type of disability, there remains very little in the way of education about this population in schools of nursing. Health care providers are faced with a complex environment in which to care for patients. This innovative series is designed to help students become more proficient in understanding disability and how to incorporate care for people with disabilities across the lifespan in varied health care settings," observed Anne R Bavier, PhD, RN, FAAN, NLN president and professor and dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at University of Texas at Arlington.

Included in ACE.D are two new unfolding case studies, with three simulated scenarios for two simulated disabled patients: "Mary Lou," paralyzed and pregnant, and "Patrick," a veteran and amputee. New teaching strategies available in this module coach faculty in preparing students to properly assess disabled patients and communicate with them effectively, as they present in the hospital and transition to home and other health care settings.

"Promoting the health of disabled individuals in the community reflects the NLN's core values of caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence," noted NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN: "The expert faculty at Villanova have a distinguished record of pedagogy in the care and treatment of people with a range of disabilities, making them perfect partners for the creation of this key addition to the NLN ACE portfolio. We also extend appreciation to the Inglis Foundation for making possible the research and development of the project's components."

"The materials developed for ACE.D have been used by Villanova University faculty to prepare our nursing students to provide high quality nursing care for patients with disabilities," said Dr. Smeltzer. "Our hope is that other nursing faculty will find the materials useful to them as they accept the challenge to address disability-related concepts and content in their curricula."

More information about NLN ACE is available at:

Editors/Reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact Karen R. Klestzick, chief communications officer at the NLN, at 202-909-2483 or

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its more than 40,000 individual and more than 1,200 institutional members, comprising nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education and health care organizations.
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