What is CCNE Accreditation?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2019
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CCNE accreditation is an American process for legitimizing nursing programs and similar medical degree programs. It is not, as some might guess, a certification for an individual, or something that a nurse pursues as a personal qualification. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) operates the CCNE accreditation system to evaluate various kinds of continued education programs for medical professionals.

The commission describes CCNE accreditation as a “voluntary, self-regulating” process. It is not related to government oversight, or linked to a specific federal agency or funded program. The CCNE considers two main kinds of standards for programs. One is institutional standards, which is related to how the school promotes its own missions, goals, and offers. The second is professional standards; this category relates to how the program will offer useful skills, and build up professional nurses and medical workers.

CCNE accreditation applies to undergraduate degrees for nursing, as well as to master’s degree programs and a similar program for a Doctor of Nursing Practice. In all of these programs, many of the same standards apply. The CCNE process for accreditation helps to offer the public more information on how different schools and degrees measure up.


To aid in administering their accreditation process, the CCNE has identified major goals and philosophies. Key parts of the CCNE’s standard include promoting trust, fairness, and the ideal of service to the community. The CCNE also pursues the promotion of curricular innovation. This idea goes hand in hand with the need to modernize the entire health care sector, and the CCNE generally forms part of the vanguard of efforts to re-define nursing in a positive way.

In addition to the top-level goals for CCNE accreditation and evaluation, there are a large number of concrete criteria that are listed in CCNE documentation in concise, technical points that are clearly labeled and numbered. These are accompanied by “elaboration,” where the key criteria are described more fully. More information on what is involved in the CCNE process for accreditation is available at the web site of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, where readers can view CCNE materials, and find out much more about how CCNE accreditation works and what it does for professional individuals and the rest of the general public.


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