| Dear Colleagues, |
Before 2016 fades into memory, colleagues, and as we look forward to the programming scheduled for the new year, I would like to give you a progress report about the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA). Just over two years ago, in my Member Update of October 29, 2014, I made the prediction that “at some point in the future, the NLN CNEA will be fully established and doing the important work needed to create ‘a culture of continuous quality improvement’ within nursing education.” At that time I asked you to be patient as a great deal of work had to be done. That included the careful, painstaking development of accreditation standards and policies and procedures, all based on feedback by members and the NLN core values of caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence.
Today I am delighted to report that NLN CNEA Accreditation Standards for Nursing Programs are in place, policies and procedures have been developed, and the first two onsite program evaluation visits were conducted in September and October 2016. Further, the NLN CNEA has pre-accredited at least one of every program type from across the academic spectrum, including licensed/practical nursing programs, diploma programs, and ASN, BSN, MSN, and clinical doctorate programs in 20 different states. And we can anticipate great progress in 2017 as the CNEA has already recruited and conducted training for more than 100 onsite program evaluators to participate in onsite campus visits.
The League established the NLN CNEA because we saw a need for an alternative accreditation service in the nursing education community that supports our core values and respects the diversity of program mission, curricula, students, and faculty and staff; emphasizes a culture of continuous quality improvement; and influences the preparation of a caring and competent nursing workforce. We will succeed in that mission because of the contributions of a remarkable group of people, representing education and practice, who serve as the NLN CNEA Board of Commissioners. And we certainly could not have done what we have done without the sensitive and caring efforts of our executive director, Dr. Judith Halstead. How lucky we are that upon her retirement from the Indiana University School of Nursing – and the end of her term as NLN president – Judy chose to relocate to Washington, DC, and take on this important role.
Judy recently served as a member of the planning committee and as a panel presenter for the National Academy of Medicine workshop on the role of accreditation in health professions education. Proceedings of the workshop have been published – they are of terrific interest and I encourage you to review them.
Before I close this, I have two pieces of good news: First, as we announced in yesterday’s special edition of the NLN Capitol Connection, the Department of Veterans Affairs is publishing a final rule today extending what it defines as full practice authority to three of the four types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Secondly, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act and President Obama signed it into law yesterday. Thank you to everyone who participated in the advocacy campaign for this important legislation. It is good to remember that when we work together, our collective voice is loud and clear, and our message is heard. We will be facing many unknowns in 2017, but I know we will work together to promote our core values and our overriding mission to advance the health of our nation and the global community.
Colleagues, enjoy the holidays, however you celebrate. The NLN offices will be closed Friday, December 23 through Monday, January 2, and we will meet again in the new year, prepared to take on new challenges and benefit from new opportunities. This is my final Member Update for 2016. When I write again it will be 2017, a year that we have never seen before. I am so happy to be here, sharing this planet with you, with the privilege of making a difference in the lives of others and hopefully in our own.
All the best,
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer