The CASN Accreditation Program is guided by core values and fundamental principles. Its Standards are divided into two sets; one applies to the School of Nursing itself, referred to as the Educational Unit, and the other applies to the Nursing Education Program. In addition, the Program provides two Accreditation Paths: Path A is a two-stage process for new programs or new collaborations, whereas Path B is a single-stage process for existing programs.
Accreditation Program Pathways
CASN’s accreditation program accredits the institutional unit providing a program(s) and its programs of instruction separately.
The accreditation program also has two different pathways. There is a pathway for new programs or new partners who require first a formative accreditation review prior to graduating the first students (Path A S).A second pathway exists for programs who do not have a need for a formative review and who wish to seek a summative accreditation (Path B).
CASN member schools or partnerships who wish to be reviewed must complete an application form that can be submitted electronically to the accreditation national office. This program information is provided by the accreditation program staff to the reviewer team and includes relevant information such as the name of the school, the type of collaborative partnership it is in, the name of the organization granting the degree, number of sites and other information about the special features of the program etc.
Organizational Structure of the CASN Accreditation Program
The Council is comprised of heads of the CASN member schools and the CASN Board of Directors. The Council approves the accreditation standards and all policies governing fee structures for the accreditation program.
- CASN Accreditation Bureau (CAB)
This Bureau is the CASN accreditation decision making body. It is comprised of 5 faculty members, and a representative from each of the following: a service agency, an academic organization, the community, a regulatory agency, and a student. The CASN President and the Executive Director are ex officio, non-voting members of the CASN Accreditation Bureau. The Bureau makes decisions regarding accreditation status and terms.
- CASN National Office Staff
The Manager of Accreditation and the Accreditation Program Officer are responsible to the Executive Director to arrange reviews, to recruit and prepare reviewers, and to assist schools of nursing with the accreditation process. While they do ensure that accreditation processes, as written in the current program are adhered to, they do not make accreditation decisions.
- Peer Reviewers
Reviewers are experienced educators in baccalaureate or graduate nursing programs. Reviewers conduct site reviews to collect data to validate the self-study reports provided by the school undergoing an accreditation review.