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Eligibility & How to Apply

1. Pre-Application Process
Conducting a self-assessment is a good first step to determine whether your organization meets the requirements for Pathway to Excellence or Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care designation. The process enables your organization to compare itself against the program's compulsory elements to measure your current state. The following resources are available to assist in the decision process:

The Pathway to Excellence and Pathway to Excellence in LTC Revised Manual will be available to organizations in the summer of 2016.
All applicants submitting documents in 2016 will continue to write to the 2012 manual. Applicants submitting documents in 2017 will have to write to the 2016 manual.

Applying for Pathway to Excellence or Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care designation is a significant commitment that requires three key elements:

  • High-level oversight.
  • Realistic timeline.
  • Realistic budget.

2. Electronic Application
Organizations are required to submit their electronic application to the Pathway Program Office no later than 4 months prior to the submission date requested.

A completed Pathway application includes:

  • Submission of online application
  • Email the CNO or DON CV, copy of Hospital Operating Certificate or other independent verification of licensed beds, and Organizational Chart to
  • The $1,500 application fee is non-refundable and should be mailed when the
    online application is submitted. Application will be processed when payment
    is received. ANCC does not invoice for application fee.
  • Mail Application fee to: 
ANCC Pathway
P.O. Box 505012
St. Louis, MO 63150-5012


3. Submit Documents
Documents submission dates are as follows:

  • February 1
  • April 1
  • June 1
  • August 1
  • November 1
  • December 1

To see the current fees, check the Program Fees page.

Document submission to the Program Office and each of the 3 appraisers must include:

  • One hard copy
  • One electronic version of complete documents ( CD or USB)

4. Organizational Demographic Form (ODF)
All organization's that submit documents for the Pathway program must also submit an ODF. Organizations must complete the applicable ODF (Pathway to Excellence or Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care).

ODFs are due to the Pathway Program Office on the last day of the submission month for applicants submitting documents prior to June 1, 2012. For applicants submitting documents June 1, 2012 and thereafter, ODFs are due to the Pathway Program Office at the time of document submission. The ODF should be emailed to by the due date.

5. Survey
Organizations that move to survey will be contacted by the Pathway Program Office with additional information and instructions on completing the confidential online survey. Learn more about the Pathway Nurse Survey

6. Designation Requirements
To achieve the Pathway to Excellence or Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care designation:

  • All Practice Standards must be met.
  • Survey requirements must be met.

The Commission on Pathway to Excellence makes the final determination regarding designation.


Last updated: 10/30/2013