NLNAC 2008 STANDARDS AND CRITERIA
ASSOCIATE DEGREE PROGRAMS IN NURSING


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STANDARD 1

Mission and Administrative Capacity

The nursing education unitís mission reflects the governing organizationís core values and is congruent with its strategic goals and objectives.  The governing organization and program have administrative capacity resulting in effective delivery of the nursing program and achievement of identified outcomes.

1.1     The mission/philosophy and outcomes of the nursing education unit are congruent with those of the governing organization.

1.2     The governing organization and nursing education unit ensure representation of students, faculty, and administrators in ongoing governance activities.

1.3     Communities of interest have input into program processes and decision making.

1.4     Partnerships exist that promote excellence in nursing education, enhance the profession, and benefit the community.

1.5     The nursing education unit is administered by a nurse who holds a graduate degree with a major in nursing.

1.6     The nurse administrator has authority and responsibility for the development and administration of the program and has adequate time and resources to fulfill the role responsibilities.

1.7     With faculty input, the nurse administrator has the authority to prepare and administer the program budget and advocates for equity within the unit and among other units of the governing organization.

1.8     Policies of the nursing education unit are comprehensive, provide for the welfare of faculty and staff, and are consistent with those of the governing organization; differences are justified by the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

1.9     Records reflect that program complaints and grievances receive due process and include evidence of resolution.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

1.10   Distance education, as defined by the nursing education unit, is congruent with the mission of the governing organization and the mission/philosophy of the nursing education unit.
  

 

STANDARD 2

Faculty and Staff

Qualified faculty and staff provide leadership and support necessary to attain the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

2.1     Full-time faculty are credentialed with a minimum of a masterís degree with a major in nursing and maintain expertise in their areas of responsibility. 

2.1.1    The majority of part-time faculty are credentialed with a minimum of a masterís degree with a major in nursing; the remaining part-time faculty hold a minimum of a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing.

2.1.2    Rationale is provided for utilization of faculty who do not meet the minimum credential.

2.2     Faculty (full- and part-time) credentials meet governing organization and state requirements.

2.3     Credentials of practice laboratory personnel are commensurate with their level of responsibilities.

2.4     The number and utilization of faculty (full- and part-time) ensure that program outcomes are achieved.

2.5     Faculty (full- and part-time) performance reflects scholarship and evidence-based teaching and clinical practices.

2.6     The number, utilization, and credentials of non-nurse faculty and staff are sufficient to achieve the program goals and outcomes.

2.7     Faculty (full- and part-time) are oriented and mentored in their areas of responsibilities.

2.8     Systematic assessment of faculty (full- and part-time) performance demonstrates competencies that are consistent with program goals and outcomes.

2.9     Non-nurse faculty and staff performance is regularly reviewed in accordance with the policies of the governing organization.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

2.10   Faculty (full- and part-time) engage in ongoing development and receive support in distance education modalities including instructional methods and evaluation.
  

 

STANDARD 3

Students

Student policies, development, and services support the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

3.1     Student policies of the nursing education unit are congruent with those of the governing organization, publicly accessible, non-discriminatory, and consistently applied; differences are justified by the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

3.2     Student services are commensurate with the needs of students pursuing or completing the associate program, including those receiving instruction using alternative methods of delivery.

3.3     Student educational and financial records are in compliance with the policies of the governing organization and state and federal guidelines.

3.4     Compliance with the Higher Education Reauthorization Act Title IV eligibility and certification requirements is maintained.

3.4.1    A written, comprehensive student loan repayment program addressing student loan information, counseling, monitoring, and cooperation with lenders is available.

3.4.2    Students are informed of their ethical responsibilities regarding financial assistance. 

3.5     Integrity and consistency exist for all information intended to inform the public, including the programís accreditation status and NLNAC contact information.

3.6     Changes in policies, procedures, and program information are clearly and consistently communicated to students in a timely manner.

3.7     Orientation to technology is provided and technological support is available to students, including those receiving instruction using alternative methods of delivery.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

3.8     Information related to technology requirements and policies specific to distance education is clear, accurate, consistent, and accessible.
  

 

STANDARD 4

Curriculum

The curriculum prepares students to achieve the outcomes of the nursing education unit, including safe practice in contemporary health care environments.

4.1     The curriculum incorporates established professional standards, guidelines, and competencies, and has clearly articulated student learning and program outcomes.

4.2     The curriculum is developed by the faculty and regularly reviewed for rigor and currency.

4.3     The student learning outcomes are used to organize the curriculum, guide the delivery of instruction, direct learning activities, and evaluate student progress.

4.4     The curriculum includes cultural, ethnic, and socially diverse concepts and may also include experiences from regional, national, or global perspectives.

4.5     Evaluation methodologies are varied, reflect established professional and practice competencies, and measure the achievement of student learning and program outcomes.

4.6     The curriculum and instructional processes reflect educational theory, interdisciplinary collaboration, research, and best practice standards while allowing for innovation, flexibility, and technological advances.

4.7     Program length is congruent with the attainment of identified outcomes and consistent with the policies of the governing organization, state and national standards, and best practices.

4.8     Practice learning environments are appropriate for student learning and support the achievement of student learning and program outcomes; current written agreements specify expectations for all parties and ensure the protection of students.

4.8.1    Student clinical experiences reflect current best practices and nationally established patient health and safety goals.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

4.9     Learning activities, instructional materials, and evaluation methods are appropriate for the delivery format and consistent with student learning outcomes.  
  

 

STANDARD 5

Resources

Fiscal, physical, and learning resources promote the achievement of the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

5.1     Fiscal resources are sufficient to ensure the achievement of the nursing education unit outcomes and commensurate with the resources of the governing organization.

5.2     Physical resources (classrooms, laboratories, offices, etc.) are sufficient to ensure the achievement of the nursing education unit outcomes and meet the needs of faculty, staff, and students.

5.3     Learning resources and technology are selected by the faculty and are comprehensive, current, and accessible to faculty and students, including those engaged in alternative methods of delivery.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

5.4     Fiscal, physical, technological, and learning resources are sufficient to meet the needs of faculty and students and ensure that students achieve learning outcomes. 
   

 

STANDARD 6

Outcomes

Evaluation of student learning demonstrates that graduates have achieved identified competencies consistent with the institutional mission and professional standards and that the outcomes of the nursing education unit have been achieved.

6.1     The systematic plan for evaluation emphasizes the ongoing assessment and evaluation of the student learning and program outcomes of the nursing education unit and NLNAC standards.

6.2     Aggregated evaluation findings inform program decision making and are used to maintain or improve student learning outcomes.

6.3     Evaluation findings are shared with communities of interest.

6.4     Graduates demonstrate achievement of competencies appropriate to role preparation.

6.5     The program demonstrates evidence of achievement in meeting the following program outcomes:

-  Performance on licensure exam

-  Program completion

-  Program satisfaction

-  Job placement

6.5.1    The licensure exam pass rates will be at or above the national mean.

6.5.2    Expected levels of achievement for program completion are determined by the faculty and reflect program demographics, academic progression, and program history.

6.5.3    Program satisfaction measures (qualitative and quantitative) address graduates and their employers.

6.5.4    Job placement rates are addressed through quantified measures that reflect program demographics and history.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

6.6     The systematic plan for evaluation encompasses students enrolled in distance education and includes evidence that student learning and program outcomes are comparable for all students.
 

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