Marilyn K. Smidt, MSN, RN
NLNAC Commissioner



Last fall we issued an invitation to those of you who were interested in working on the review and revision of the NLNAC Standards and Criteria. I am happy to say that many of you volunteered. From the list of volunteers, program evaluators, and evaluation review panel members we selected individuals to serve on the six program specific sub-groups. As you know, NLNAC has an ongoing systematic plan published in the Accreditation Manual that describes how we function. It specifies that every three years NLNAC will conduct an assessment and revision of the Standards and Criteria for Accreditation of Nursing Programs. We conduct the assessment and review according to this plan and then publish the revised Standards and Criteria. Most recent publication dates have been in 2002 and 2005. Volunteers are essential to this process.

We began preparing for the 2008 revision at the beginning of last year. The entire NLNAC Commission, led by the Standards and Criteria Committee, reviewed the current literature related to specialized accreditation. In particular, this included the DOE Guidelines; Secretary Spelling's recent Report; The NLN Hallmarks of Excellence in Nursing Education;  The Middle States Commission on Higher Education 2003 Monograph on Assessment; and literacy competency standards for higher education.

The six Subcommittees had their initial meeting in Houston in late February and have continued work by multiple conference calls. The result of their many hours of literature review and discussion has been the product of a document, Draft #1 Standards and Criteria. This initial draft will soon be ready for distribution and public comment. Our target date for the first distribution is early June. We encourage our constituents to watch for this document and provide us with comments. You will be able to link directly to the draft and comment forms on the NLNAC website,

The Standards and Criteria Committee will review all public comments and develop a second draft,  which will also be shared with all our communities of interest. It is our goal to have the review process completed later this year to allow for publication of the 2008 NLNAC Standards and Criteria early in 2008.

As always, we welcome your feedback and constructive criticism so that our Standards and Criteria can continue to support excellence in nursing education.

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Volume 01 - Issue 02, April 2007
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