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FAQS: About Accreditation

What Is Accreditation?
Accreditation is the process by which a voluntary, non-governmental agency or organization appraises and grants accredited status to institutions and/or programs or services which meet predetermined structure, process, and outcome criteria.

The ANCC Accreditation program includes:

Please Note: Accreditation for organizations is distinct from certification for individual nurses. For information on continuing education requirements for nursing certification, visit the ANCC Certification Center or email or call 1.800.284.2378.

What is Primary Accreditation?
Primary Accreditation recognizes organizations which demonstrate excellence in the ability to deliver continuing nursing education (CNE) or approve organizations or individuals that have demonstrated excellence in the ability to deliver CNE. The Accreditation Program ensures the integrity of the accreditation process through systematic, evidence-based evaluation of application materials submitted by qualified applicants for Accredited Provider or Accredited Approver status. ANCC's Primary Accreditation Program contributes to improving healthcare outcomes by providing a voluntary peer-review process that defines standards for high performance in providing quality CNE and measures compliance with those standards for organizations that elect to apply for accreditation.

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Find an ANCC Accredited Organization

What is Joint Accreditation?
The Joint Accreditation Program is an organizational credential for organizations planning inter-professional continuing education. This program is managed collaboratively by ANCC the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

Goals are to support inter-professional collaborative practice (IPCP) through inter-professional continuing education, and to streamline the accreditation processes. Inter-professional education (IPE) is designed to address the professional practice gaps of the healthcare team using an educational planning process that reflects input from all professionals who make up the team. The education is designed to change the skills/strategy, performance, or patient outcomes of the healthcare team.

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What is the Practice Transition Accreditation Program (PTAP)?
PTAP sets the global standard for nurse residency and fellowship programs that transition registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) into new practice settings. PTAP provides a road map for organizations to develop new residency or fellowship programs, or to evaluate the quality of their existing programs. These include the following types of transition programs: RN residency, RN fellowship, and APRN fellowship. Residencies or fellowships that meet PTAP criteria exhibit excellence in the domains of development and design, nursing professional development, organizational enculturation, practice-based learning, program leadership, and quality outcomes.

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What is the Nursing Skills Competency Program (NSCP)?
The NSCP is a credential awarded to courses designed to validate a nurse's competence for a defined skill or skill set. The focus of this recognition is on the course, not the organization or individual providing the course. Courses must be designed according to ANCC criteria, which specify selection of qualified faculty and demonstration of validity and reliability in the evaluation process.

Observation of nurses successfully using the skill or skill set in practice is also required. Individuals successfully completing a recognized course receive a certificate of completion that indicates they are competent in the skill or skill set for a prescribed period of time. The NSCP credential does not award individual nursing certification.

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