The NLNAC Accreditation Process The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) is the regulating body to certify a practical nursing education program as an accredited program capable of providing an adequate practical nursing education according to standards established by NLNAC. These programs may offer one or more of the full range of educational levels in practical nursing from certificates, associate degrees or diplomas in baccalaureate, masters and clinical doctorate programs. The process of accreditation of a nursing program is a rigorous four-step process with constant monitoring and on-site visits to assure the regulating Commission that the candidate program is worthy of accreditation. The first step is the program's self-analysis and submission of a Self-study Report to document a program's readiness and compliance with established NLNAC accreditation standards. The selfanalysis and preparation of the Report should involve everyone in the candidate facility from the governing administrators to students in order to represent a comprehensive self-study. The analysis, preparation and submission of the Report to the NLNAC Board of Commissioners is the application of candidacy for accreditation. The second step is a scheduled site visit conducted by a select peer-review panel to assess the facility's compliance by practical observation with the NLNAC standards and the facility's own Self-study Report. The purpose of the site visit is to verify the claims of compliance in the Selfstudy Report with observed and documented evidence of the site's compliance with NLNAC standards. The third step is a peer evaluation of the site visit results and the initial Self-study Report by an Evaluation Review Panel, a separate panel than the site visit in order to protect the integrity of the accrediting system from favoritism by anyone on the site visit team. The final step is a final review of all reports, evidence, and commentary by the various review panels in the preceding processes conducted by the NLNAC Board of Commissioners to assure that all preceding steps have adequately qualified the candidate for accreditation. The Commission will then determine if the candidate is worthy and will award or deny accreditation. The accredited practical nursing program will then be required to issue annual reports of their activities relative to required ongoing self-monitoring consisting of faculty credentials, student enrollment, graduation rate, complaints about the program, and substantive changes in the program. If there appears to be any non-compliant factors regarding compliance with NLNAC standards based on the annual report, a follow-up report may be required by the Commission to document corrective action made by the program against the non-compliances. The Commission will review the follow-up report to determine if accreditation is still valid or if further action is necessary. The Board may determine accreditation is no longer valid and the entire process must begin again to achieve accreditation.
Regarding the incident of substantive changes, if a program makes such a change in the program, such as a change in ownership, program offerings, degree changes, additions or deletions or coursework, method of conducting the program education, or relocation, the facility must issue a Substantive Change Report detailing the intent and expected outcomes of the change.