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How to Start

ANCC accreditation demonstrates that organizations such as nursing groups, hospitals and health ministries meet rigorous standards for providing continuing nursing education (CNE) to registered nurses. Organizations that invest in continuing education for registered nurses can improve the professional practice of nursing and patient outcomes.

Eligibility requires an organization use ANCC criteria for at least 6 months prior to application. Organizations outside the US must also independently verify credentials of nurse leaders coordinating continuing education, a process that can take up to 3 months. We recommend the following steps:

  1. Use the Primary Accreditation Self-Assessment Tool [doc] to assess your readiness to apply.
  2. Download the Application Manual: Accreditation Program and operate according to ANCC criteria for 6 months.
  3. Plan, implement and evaluate at least 3 educational activities according to standards outlined in the manual.
    Apply for approval of the individual education activities through an ANCC Accredited Approver
    Test your organization via a Documentation Review, a records audit to confirm adherence with criteria. ANCC provides a written report detailing compliance and non-compliance.
  4. Secure independent verification of credentials for nurse leaders outside the US. To validate international credentials, applicants must present verification from CGFNS International (  ANCC will not accept verification documents from other credential evaluating organizations.

       CGFNS International
  5. Test your organization via a Documentation Review. Use the resulting Documentation Review Report with the Application Manual to correct any shortfalls.
  6. Learn how to apply.

ANCC offers free and low-cost resources to help you plan, implement, and evaluate CNE activities according to ANCC standards for educational design, evidence-based content, and testing methodology.

View all Accreditation Publications & Manuals
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