Who We Are

Mission and Purposes 

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. The Commission strives to promote the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency/fellowship programs in nursing. The Commission serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuous quality improvement in nursing education and nurse residency/fellowship programs.

CCNE accreditation is a nongovernmental peer review process that operates in accordance with nationally recognized standards established for the practice of accreditation in the United States and its territories. Accreditation by CCNE is intended to accomplish at least five general purposes:

  1. To hold nursing programs accountable to the community of interest -- the nursing profession, consumers, employers, institutions of higher education, nursing students, nurse residents and fellows -- and to one another by providing that these programs have mission statements, goals, and outcomes that are appropriate to prepare individuals to fulfill their expected roles. 

  2. To evaluate the success of a nursing program in achieving its mission, goals, and outcomes. 

  3. To assess the extent to which a nursing program meets accreditation standards. 

  4. To inform the public of the purposes and values of accreditation and to identify nursing programs that meet accreditation standards. 

  5. To foster continuing improvement in nursing programs, and, thereby, in professional practice. 


CCNE accreditation activities are premised on a statement of principles or values. These are that the Commission will:

  1. Foster trust in the process, in CCNE, and in the professional community.

  2. Focus on stimulating and supporting continuous quality improvement in nursing programs and their outcomes.

  3. Be inclusive in the implementation of its activities and maintain an openness to the diverse institutional and individual issues and opinions of the community of interest.

  4. Rely on review and oversight by peers from the community of interest.

  5. Maintain integrity through a consistent, fair, and honest accreditation process.

  6. Value and foster innovation in both the accreditation process and the programs to be accredited.

  7. Facilitate and engage in self-assessment.

  8. Foster an educational climate that supports program students, graduates, and faculty in their pursuit of life-long learning.

  9. Maintain a high level of accountability to the publics served by the process, including consumers, students, employers, programs, and institutions of higher education.

  10. Maintain a process that is both cost-effective and cost-accountable.

  11. Encourage programs to develop graduates who are effective professionals and socially responsible citizens.

  12. Ensure autonomy and procedural fairness in its deliberations and decision-making processes.


CCNE serves higher education institutions and healthcare organizations throughout the United States.


CCNE’s 20th Anniversary: 1998-2018

In 2018, CCNE celebrated a milestone in assuring excellence in nursing, honoring the contributions of faculty and administrators at its accredited programs, volunteer on-site evaluators, and past and current committee and Board members. These publications and video highlight CCNE’s growth and success at the 10- and 20-year milestones.

 Achieving Excellence in Accreditation: The First 10 Years of CCNE (2009)                   Living the CCNE Values: 20th Anniversary Editorial Series (2018)