Alliance for Nursing Accreditation Statement on Distance Education Policies

The growth of distance education courses and programs for the delivery of nursing education has increased and is expected to continue to increase. Recognizing this growth and the need to ensure the public that nursing education programs maintain a high standard of quality, the Alliance for Nursing Accreditation endorses the following standard:

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.

This statement on Distance Education Policies has been endorsed by the following organizations:

Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
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 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