Standards & Criteria

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The mission of the nursing transition-to-practice program is congruent with the core values and goals of the sponsoring organization. The sponsoring organization supports the nursing transition-to-practice program by providing administrative and resource capacity to achieve end-of-program learning outcomes and program outcomes.

1.1 The mission of the program is congruent with that of the sponsoring organization.

1.2 The nurse administrator of the nursing transition-to-practice program is experientially and educationally qualified to facilitate the achievement of the end-of-program learning outcomes and program outcomes.

1.3 The nurse administrator of the nursing transition-to-practice program has the authority and responsibility for implementation and administration of the program, including the budget, and has sufficient time and resources to fulfill the role responsibilities.

1.4 Physical, fiscal, learning, and technological resources for all instructional delivery formats are sufficient to meet the needs of the program, program educators, and nurse residents.

1.5 Stakeholders have input into program processes, including decision-making, and are informed of the level of achievement of the end-of-program learning outcomes and program outcomes.

1.6 Distance education, when utilized, is congruent with the mission of the sponsoring organization and the mission/philosophy of the program.

Qualified program educators are sufficient in number to ensure the achievement of the end-of-program learning outcomes and program outcomes. Sufficient and qualified staff are available to support the nursing transition-to-practice program.

2.1 Program educators are educationally and experientially qualified to facilitate achievement of the end-of-program learning outcomes and program outcomes.

2.2 Program educators are oriented and mentored; roles and responsibilities are clearly documented.2.3 The number of program educators is sufficient to achieve the end-of-program learning outcomes and program outcomes.

2.4 Preceptors, if utilized, are oriented, mentored, and monitored and have clearly articulated roles and responsibilities.

2.5 Program educators maintain expertise in their areas of responsibility, and participate in professional development.

2.6 Program educators’ performance is regularly evaluated in accordance with the sponsoring organization’s policy/procedures, and demonstrates effectiveness in assigned area(s) of responsibility.

2.7 The number, qualifications, and utilization of staff within the program are sufficient to achieve the end-of-program learning outcomes and program outcomes.

2.8 Program educators receive support for instructional technologies.

Policies and services of the nursing transition-to-practice program support the achievement of the end-of-program learning outcomes and program outcomes.

3.1 Policies of the nursing transition-to-practice program are congruent with those of the healthcare/practice setting.

3.2 Public information is accurate, clear, consistent, and accessible, including the end-of-program learning outcomes and program outcomes, accreditation status, and the ACEN contact information.

3.3 Orientation to the program emphasizes program requirements and the nurse resident’s obligations to the sponsoring organization.

3.4 Support services are commensurate with those needed for role transition.

3.5 Records reflect that complaints receive due process and include evidence of resolution.

3.6 Orientation to instructional technologies is provided, and technological support is available.

3.7 Information related to instructional technology requirements is accurate, clear, consistent, and accessible.

The curriculum of the nursing transition-to-practice program supports the achievement of the established end-of-program learning outcomes and enables the nurse resident to independently assume the responsibilities of stated roles in leadership, professional development, and safe clinical practice in contemporary healthcare environments.

4.1 The curriculum incorporates professional standards, guidelines, and competencies, and has clearly articulated end-of-program learning outcomes.

4.2 The end-of-program learning outcomes are used to organize the curriculum, guide instruction, and direct learning activities.

4.3 The curriculum emphasizes interpersonal and interprofessional communication skills.

4.4 The curriculum enables the nurse resident to independently assume the responsibilities of stated roles in leadership, professionalism, and safe clinical practice.

a. The curriculum emphasizes leadership capacity, including delegation, prioritization, advocacy, and conflict resolution.

b. The curriculum focuses on the continuing development of the nurse resident for clinical reasoning and performance improvement.

c. The curriculum emphasizes teamwork and interprofessional collaboration.

d. The curriculum recognizes the diversity of the population served and prepares the nurse resident to provide culturally sensitive care.

e. The curriculum focuses on value-based care, including the evaluation of healthcare data and outcomes.

f. The curriculum emphasizes information literacy and informatics to optimize healthcare outcomes.

4.5 Evaluation methodologies are varied, reflect established professional standards and practice competencies, and support the measurement of the end-of-program learning outcomes.

4.6 The length of time required for program completion is congruent with the attainment of the established end-of-program learning outcomes and consistent with the purpose of the sponsoring organization and current research on best practices.

4.7 Learning experiences are evidence-based, reflect contemporary practice and nationally established patient health and safety goals, and support the achievement of the established end-of-program learning outcomes.

4.8 Written agreements for practice learning experiences, if applicable, are current, specify expectations for all parties, and ensure the protection of nurse residents.

4.9 Learning activities, instructional materials, and evaluation methods are appropriate for all instructional delivery formats and consistent with the end-of-program learning outcomes.

The nursing transition-to-practice program demonstrates evidence of program effectiveness.

The systematic plan of evaluation contains:

  • Specific, measurable expected levels of achievement for each end-of-program learning outcome and each program outcome.
  • Appropriate assessment method(s) for each end-of-program learning outcome and each program outcome.
  • Regular intervals of assessment for each end-of-program learning outcome and each program outcome.
  • Sufficient data to inform program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of each end-of-program learning outcome and each program outcome.*
  • Analysis of assessment data to inform program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of each end-of-program learning outcome and each program outcome.
  • Documentation demonstrating the use of assessment data in program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of each end-of-program learning outcome and each program outcome.
*Programs seeking initial accreditation are required to have data from the time that the program achieves candidacy with the ACEN.

5.1 The program demonstrates evidence of nurse residents’ achievement of each end-of-program learning outcome.

There is ongoing assessment, trended over time, of the extent to which nurse residents attain each end-of-program learning outcome.

There is analysis of assessment data and documentation that the analysis of assessment data is used in program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of nurse residents’ attainment of each end-of-program learning outcome.

There is a minimum of the three (3) most recent years of end-of-program learning outcome achievement data.

5.2 Program completion rates demonstrate evidence of program effectiveness.

The expected level of achievement for program completion, with rationale, is determined by the program educators.

There is ongoing assessment, trended over time, of the extent to which nurse residents complete the program.

There is analysis of assessment data and documentation that the analysis of assessment data is used in program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of nurse residents’ completion of the program.

There is a minimum of the three (3) most recent years of annual program completion data.

5.3 Program satisfaction rates for nurse residents and employers demonstrate program effectiveness.

The expected level of achievement for program satisfaction, with rationale, is determined by the program educators.

There is ongoing assessment of the extent to which satisfaction rates demonstrate program effectiveness.

There is analysis of program satisfaction assessment data and documentation that the analysis of assessment data is used in program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of program effectiveness.

There is a minimum of the three (3) most recent years of annual program satisfaction data.

5.4 Employee retention rates, as applicable*, demonstrate evidence of program effectiveness.

The expected level of achievement for employee retention, with rationale, is determined by the program educators.

There is ongoing assessment, trended over time, of the extent to which employee retention rates demonstrate program effectiveness.

There is analysis of employee retention assessment data and documentation that the analysis of assessment data is used in program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of program effectiveness.

There is a minimum of the three (3) most recent years of available employee retention data.

5.5 Job placement rates, as applicable*, demonstrate evidence of program effectiveness.

The expected level of achievement for job placement, with rationale, is determined by the program educators.

There is ongoing assessment, trended over time, of the extent to which job placement rates demonstrate program effectiveness.

There is analysis of job placement assessment data and documentation that the analysis of assessment data is used in program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of program effectiveness.

There is a minimum of the three (3) most recent years of available job placement data.

*TTP Programs must address at least one of these Criteria: 5.4 or 5.5.

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