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Understanding the accreditation system.

Why do hospitals and nursing specialty groups use an ANCC accredited Approver Unit to have their Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) activities approved? Because having your activity validated as meeting evidence-based standards for quality continuing education does several things: it demonstrates your commitment to quality; it shows learners that you are "in the business" of providing relevant and meaningful professional development activities, not just awarding certificates; and it provides evidence that you have developed your activity to address a specific outcome to improve health care. We thank you for that commitment, and we are honored to work with you and your employers to achieve approval of CNE activities.

Accreditation for continuing nursing education is provided through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. This organization is devoted to providing excellence in nursing and health care through recognition of organizations that promote quality nursing care in safe work environments (the Magnet[R] and Pathway to Excellence[R] Recognition Programs), organizations that provide evidence-based continuing nursing education and professional development activities (the Accreditation Program), and individuals who provide evidence of competence in specific areas of expertise (the Certification Program).

The Accreditation Program is led by the Commission on Accreditation (COA), leaders in national and international nursing professional development endeavors. The COA accredits providers and approvers of continuing education that demonstrate adherence to evidence-based and quality standards related to operation of an accredited organization, implementation of education design principles, and measurement of quality outcomes. The COA accredits organizations, not individual activities. For example, the New Mexico Nurses Association is an accredited approver through ANCC. NMNA, in turn, has the authority to approve both organizations wanting to be approved provider units and those wishing to have individual activity applications approved.

Regardless of whether an organization is approved or accredited, and regardless of whether an activity is offered through an accredited organization or individually approved, the end result for everyone is delivery of quality continuing education that meets the same rigorous standards. Use of the activity approval statement in conjunction with the educational activity is an indication to learners that they are going to receive quality continuing education when they engage in your activities. The language on that statement is carefully crafted for it serves as ANCC's consistent messaging to learners--no matter where they are in the world, if they see that language, it means quality continuing education.

In New Mexico, all of NMNA's forms, tools, and resources are crafted from ANCC Accreditation criteria. The NMNA CE office works closely with the Accreditation Program to assure that information is accurate, timely, and relevant to the work that you are doing as you plan your educational activities. As an accredited approver, NMNA is accountable to ANCC to assure that you have the tools, resources, and assistance you need in order to be successful, and that we are using a valid and reliable peer review system to evaluate your applications in relation to the criteria. Approval of your activity is evidence of a multi-step process to assure quality in the delivery of continuing education for nurses and Interprofessional groups.

The Accredited Approver Unit (AAU) is looking for actively licensed NMNA/ANA members of at least a BSN, willing to become a reviewer for our AAU, and commit to reviewing no more than 1-2 applications a month. If interested, contact Carrie for more information.

Amy L. Wilson, MPH, BSN, RN, APHN-BC, Chief Nurse Public Health Division in the New Mexico Department of Health, received the Award of Merit from the National Association of Public Health Nurses at their annual meeting held June 2-4, 2016.

The Award of Merit is given to persons who meet the following criteria:

* Is a current or former Association member

* Has shown exceptional leadership in public health nursing.

* Has made a significant contribution to public health nursing at the national level.

A member of NMNA and nursing leader in NM, Amy recently was one of the presenters at the Healthy Nurse, Healthy NM workshop during National Nurses Week. Please join NMNA in congratulating her on this well-deserved achievement and national recognition.

Pam Dickerson, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN

Director of Continuing Education, Montana Nurses Association

Caption: Left to right: Nursing leaders of the National Association of Public Health Nurses: Sharon Stanley, Shirley Orr, Amy Wilson and Ramona Rusinak
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Title Annotation:Nurses in our News
Author:Dickerson, Pam
Publication:New Mexico Nurse
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2016
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