be accredited by a nursing accrediting organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA);13
be pre-approved, pre-accredited, or accredited prior to the acceptance of students, including all developing APRN education programs and tracks;
ensure that graduates of the program are eligible for national certification and state licensure; and
ensure that official documentation (e.g., transcript) specifies the role and population focus of the graduate.
A formal communication mechanism, LACE, which includes those regulatory organizations that represent APRN licensure, accreditation, certification, and education entities would be created. The purpose of LACE would be to provide a formal, ongoing communication mechanism that provides for transparent and aligned communication among the identified entities. The collaborative efforts between the APRN Consensus Group and the NCSBN APRN Advisory Panel, through the APRN Joint Dialogue Group have illustrated the ongoing level of communication necessary among these groups to ensure that all APRN stakeholders are involved. Several strategies including equal representation on an integrated board with face-to-face meetings, audio and teleconferencing, pass-protected access to agency web sites, and regular reporting mechanisms have been recommended. These strategies will build trust and enhance information sharing. Examples of issues to be addressed by the group would be: guaranteeing appropriate representation of APRN roles among accreditation site visitors, documentation of program completion by education institutions, notification of examination outcomes to educators and regulators, notification of disciplinary action toward licensees by boards of nursing.
Several principles should guide the formulation of a structure including: 1) all four entities of LACE should have representation; 2) the total should allow effective discussion of and response to issues and; 3) the structure should not be duplicative of existing structures such as the Alliance for APRN Credentialing. Consideration should be given to evolving the existing Alliance structure to meet the needs of LACE. Guidance from an organizational consultant will be useful in
APRN education programs must be accredited by a nursing accrediting organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), including the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health Council on Accreditation.