NLNAC 2008 STANDARDS AND CRITERIA
MASTER'S DEGREE / POST-MASTER'S CERTIFICATE
PROGRAMS IN NURSING


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STANDARD 1 

Mission and Administrative Capacity 

The nursing education unitís mission reflects the governing organizationís core values and is congruent with its strategic goals and objectives.  The governing organization and program have administrative capacity resulting in effective delivery of the nursing program and achievement of identified outcomes.

1.1     The mission/philosophy and outcomes of the nursing education unit are congruent with those of the governing organization.

1.2     The governing organization and nursing education unit ensure representation of students, faculty, and administrators in ongoing governance activities.

1.3     Communities of interest have input into program processes and decision making.

1.4     Partnerships exist that promote excellence in nursing education, enhance the profession, and benefit the community.

1.5     The nursing education unit is administered by a doctorally prepared nurse who has authority and responsibility over the unit and advocates for equity between the unit and other institutional units.

1.6     Nursing program coordinators and lead faculty for program tracks are academically qualified, meet national guideline criteria, and have authority and responsibility over the program/track.

1.7     Policies of the nursing education unit are comprehensive, provide for the welfare of faculty and staff, and are consistent with those of the governing organization; differences are justified by the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

1.8     Records reflect that program complaints and grievances receive due process and include evidence of resolution.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

1.9     Distance education, as defined by the nursing education unit, is congruent with the mission of the governing organization and the mission/philosophy of the nursing education unit.
  

 

STANDARD 2 

Faculty and Staff 

Qualified faculty and staff provide leadership and support necessary to attain the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

2.1     Faculty are academically and experientially qualified; the majority of faculty hold earned doctorates.

2.2     Faculty credentials reflect appropriate advanced practice certifications and expertise in their area(s) of teaching.  

2.3     The number and utilization of faculty (full- and part-time) ensure that program outcomes are achieved.

2.4     Faculty (full- and part-time) performance reflects scholarship and evidence-based practice.

2.5     The number, utilization, and credentials of non-nurse faculty and staff are sufficient to achieve the program goals and outcomes.

2.6     Systematic assessment of faculty (full- and part-time) performance demonstrates competencies that are consistent with program goals and outcomes.

2.7     Non-nurse faculty and staff performance is regularly reviewed in accordance with the policies of the governing organization.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

2.8     Faculty (full- and part-time) engage in ongoing development and receive support in distance education modalities including instructional methods and evaluation.

 

STANDARD 3 

Students 

Student policies, development, and services support the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

3.1     Student policies of the nursing education unit are congruent with those of the governing organization, publicly accessible, non-discriminatory, and consistently applied; differences are justified by the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

3.2     Student services are commensurate with the needs of students pursuing or completing the masterís program or post-masterís certificates, including those receiving instruction using alternative methods of delivery.

3.3     Student educational and financial records are in compliance with the policies of the governing organization and state and federal guidelines.

3.4     Compliance with the Higher Education Reauthorization Act Title IV eligibility and certification requirements is maintained.

3.5     Integrity and consistency exist for all information intended to inform the public, including the programís accreditation status and NLNAC contact information.

3.6     Changes in policies, procedures, and program information are clearly and consistently communicated to students in a timely manner.

3.7     Orientation to technology is provided and technological support is available to students, including those receiving instruction using alternative methods of delivery.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

3.8     Information related to technology requirements and policies specific to distance education is clear, accurate, consistent, and accessible.

 

STANDARD 4 

Curriculum 

The curriculum prepares students to achieve the outcomes of the nursing education unit, including safe practice in contemporary health care environments.

4.1     Program outcomes are congruent with established professional standards, curriculum guidelines, and advanced nursing practice competencies as applicable.

4.2     The curriculum is developed by the faculty and regularly reviewed for rigor and currency.

4.3     The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to be information literate and to practice from an evidence-based approach in their advanced practice role.

4.4     The curriculum is designed so that graduates of the program are able to practice in a culturally and ethnically diverse global society.

4.5     Evaluation methodologies are varied, reflect established professional and practice competencies, and measure the achievement of student learning and program outcomes.

4.6     The curriculum and instructional processes reflect educational theory, interdisciplinary collaboration, research, and best practice standards while allowing for innovation, flexibility, and technological advances.

4.7     Program length is congruent with the attainment of outcomes.

4.8     Practice learning environments are appropriate for student learning and support the achievement of student learning and program outcomes; current written agreements specify expectations for all parties and ensure the protection of students.

4.8.1  Student clinical experiences are evidence based and reflect contemporary practice.

4.9     Post-Masterís certificate programs follow national standards and guidelines and demonstrate that students have sufficient didactic and clinical experiences to meet role expectations and certification requirements.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

4.10   Learning activities, instructional materials, and evaluation methods are appropriate for the delivery format and consistent with student learning outcomes.  
 

 
STANDARD 5

Resources

Fiscal, physical, and learning resources promote the achievement of the goals and outcomes of the nursing education unit.

5.1     Fiscal resources are sufficient to ensure the achievement of the nursing education unit outcomes and commensurate with the resources of the governing organization.

5.2     Physical resources (classrooms, laboratories, offices, etc.) are sufficient to ensure the achievement of the nursing education unit outcomes and meet the needs of faculty, staff, and students.

5.3     Learning resources and technology are selected by the faculty and are comprehensive, current, and accessible to faculty and students, including those engaged in alternative methods of delivery.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

5.4     Fiscal, physical, technological, and learning resources are sufficient to meet the needs of faculty and students and ensure that students achieve learning outcomes. 


  

STANDARD 6

Outcomes

Evaluation of student learning demonstrates that graduates have achieved identified competencies consistent with the institutional mission and professional standards and that the outcomes of the nursing education unit have been achieved.

6.1     Program assessment is ongoing and findings demonstrate the achievement of the student learning and program outcomes of the nursing education unit and NLNAC standards.

6.2     Aggregated evaluation findings inform program decision making and are used to maintain or improve student learning outcomes.

6.3     Evaluation findings are shared with communities of interest.

6.4     The program demonstrates evidence of achievement in meeting the following program outcomes:

-  Performance on licensure exam

-  Performance on certification exams

-  Program completion

-  Program satisfaction

-  Professional/Job placement

6.4.1    For entry-level masterís programs, the program licensure exam pass rates will be at or above the national mean.

6.4.2    Eighty percent of first-time candidates for certification exams will pass the exams.

6.4.3    Eighty percent of students will graduate from their program within 1Ĺ times the length of the program.

6.4.4    Eighty percent of graduates and their employers will express satisfaction with the program.

6.4.5  Eighty percent of those seeking employment will be involved in role-related professional practice at one year post-graduation.

For nursing education units engaged in distance education, the additional criterion is applicable:

6.5    The systematic plan for evaluation encompasses students enrolled in distance education and includes evidence that student learning and program outcomes are comparable for all students.
 

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