The former Dean of Nursing at Cuyahoga Community College, Vivian Yates, PhD, RN, is currently serving as a Commissioner for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Dr. Yates explains the purpose and importance of accreditation.
Recently I retired as the Dean of Nursing at Cuyahoga Community College, a multi-campus associate degree nursing program in the Greater Cleveland area. I have taught in the associate degree and practical nursing programs at Lorain County Community College and in the RN to BSN program at the University of Akron. I also served as the Associate Director for Program Accreditation Support for the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) in Atlanta, Georgia, where I continue to serve as a peer evaluator and member of the ACEN Board of Commissioners.
Over the past twenty-three years, I have had the opportunity to impact nursing through my involvement with nursing program accreditation, working with hundreds of nursing programs across the country. Accreditation means that a nursing program periodically undergoes a rigorous external peer review to determine the extent to which the program meets the standards of educational quality that were established by peers in the nursing profession. Accreditation benefits nursing programs by enhancing students’ ability to transfer credits, positively influencing employers hiring decisions, facilitating academic progression, and enabling eligibility for funding support, such as HRSA grants. Accreditation sets standards for nursing programs of all types, promoting public accountability, and ensuring the promotion of effective education and program improvement.
Peer evaluators are nurse educators, administrators, and clinicians who are experts in nursing education and nursing practice and hold a graduate degree in nursing. If you are currently a nurse clinician, nurse educator, or nursing program administrator from an accredited nursing program, consider serving as a peer evaluator for a nursing accrediting body. The experience allows you to observe practices in other nursing programs, network with colleagues outside of your state, and advance your knowledge in nursing education accreditation.