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Alliance for Nursing Accreditation Releases New Statement on Distance Education Policies

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

Alliance for Nursing Accreditation Releases New
Statement on Distance Education Policies

WASHINGTON, DC, January 24, 2003 - In response to the growing use of distance learning technology, the Alliance for Nursing Accreditation has released a new statement on the need to preserve the academic integrity of nursing education programs offered via distance education. The Alliance, a group of 14 organizations charged with nursing accreditation and certification, issued this statement to ensure the public that nursing education programs delivered through distance technology will maintain quality standards and meet the same academic requirements and accreditation criteria as programs provided in face-to-face formats.

"Distance education is transforming how nursing education is being delivered, and the Alliance is taking steps to ensure that program standards remain high," said Kathleen Ann Long, PhD, RNCS, FAAN, President of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). "Nurse educators have an obligation to uphold rigorous academic standards in the interest of public safety. AACN and fellow Alliance members are doing our part to ensure that technology-enhanced programs prepare highly competent nursing professionals."

Statement on Distance Education Policies

The following statement was approved by the Alliance for Nursing Accreditation:

All nursing education programs delivered solely or in part through distance learning technologies must meet the same academic program and learning support standards and accreditation criteria as programs provided in face-to-face formats, including the following:

  • Student outcomes are consistent with the stated mission, goals, and objectives of the program; and
  • The institution assumes the responsibility for establishing a means to assess student outcomes. This assessment includes overall program outcomes, in addition to specific course outcomes, and a process for using the results for continuous program improvement.
  • Mechanisms for ongoing faculty development and involvement in the area of distance education and the use of technology in teaching-learning processes are established. Appropriate technical support for faculty and students is provided.
  • When utilizing distance learning methods, a program provides learning opportunities that facilitate development of students' clinical competence and professional role socialization and establishes mechanisms to measure these student outcomes.
  • When utilizing distance learning methods, a program provides or makes available resources for the students' successful attainment of all program objectives.
  • Each accreditation and program review entity incorporates the review of distance-education programs as a component of site visitor/evaluator training.

Members of the Alliance for Nursing Accreditation, all of whom have endorsed the new statement on distance education policies, include:

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation
  • American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • National Certification Corporation
  • National Council of State Boards of Nursing
  • National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
  • National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health, Council on Accreditation
  • National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners & Nurses


The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 580 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.


Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231