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Cultivating a Community

The Consortium as an Enduring Landscape

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 311

Even before starting as the Consortium's first Executive Director in November 2015, I was excited about helping to create this start-up, this disruptive innovator of an accreditation agency!  Our mission was two-fold: To develop a rigorous, transportable and scalable model for a 12-month postgraduate training program for nurse practitioners; To partner the model with a carefully crafted accreditation process, designed by experts in NP postgraduate training, that would give the public and the profession confidence in the relevance, quality and integrity of the training. We tended this small, emerging landscape of postgraduate training.  We worked day in and day out, season by season, weathering storms and drought, believing in the importance and transformative power of passion, excellence and quality.

From Earth to the Heavens

The US Department of Education and the Perseids

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 173

Big news!  On June 28th, the Consortium submitted its petition to the United States Department of Education (USDE or simply, as it is officially called, the ED) for federal recognition as an accrediting agency. The petition weighed as much as a block of granite – nearly 500 pages of exhibits and over 100 pages of text. You know the feeling when you have been working on a major, long term project -- that feeling when the end is in sight? That’s how I’m feeling right now. The USDE is now reviewing our petition and requesting clarification as needed. In February, we will defend it in a public hearing before the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), a federally appointed review panel with 18 public members. We should hear a USDE decision sometime in June 2020. The end is in sight! And of course, another beginning.

In hindsight, one of the many gifts of this past four years as Executive Director has been a much deeper dive than I ever imagined into accreditation.  It is all captured in that granite block of documentation – the solid foundation for action that characterizes the Consortium’s accreditation arm. The foundation of any accreditation agency is determined by the quality, rigor and integrity of its accreditation activities and decision-making. After careful consideration, we have made some changes to ensure that the Consortium remains on the forefront of postgraduate NP training and programmatic accreditation. 

Feeling Stressed?

Control what you can and move on

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 590

Our flight finally landed, an hour and a half late. Everyone was eager to get off, especially the family ahead of me, parents with three young sons who looked to be between 5 and 9 years old.  As they gathered their belongings, the middle boy was becoming increasingly anxious. The father said, very calmly, “Control what you can, and ignore the rest. Just control what you can.” I don’t know if it helped his son, but it resonated with me. I would tweak it just a bit so it becomes: Control what you can, plan for the unexpected and move on. What a great way to navigate everyday stresses.

We’ve all had those days, or weeks, or months. Yet, generally, we can embrace the challenge, figure out what we can control, create workarounds, and move forward – a duck paddling madly underwater while, seemingly serenely, progressing upstream against the current. There are days when we may get uncomfortably close to reasoned panic. Panic breeds chaos. Knowing what you can control and owning that responsibility fosters order and accomplishment.  As the father on the plane told his son, control what you can and move on.

Tipping Point

Taking Off

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 509

Nearly two decades ago, the Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the concept of “tipping point,” in his bestselling book of the same name. According to Gladwell, the tipping point is the notion of being “in a place where the unexpected becomes expected, where radical change is more than a possibility.  It is – contrary to all our expectations – a certainty.”

I see indicators of radical change regarding NP postgraduate training at every level: individual, organizational, and, perhaps most importantly, national.

Hope Transforms

2018 Holiday Season

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 635
Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter to the editor of The New York Sun in 1897 is timeless. “Please tell me the truth.  Is there a Santa Claus?” she asked.  Her letter is based in hope, and a belief in something that can’t be seen.  And that, contrary to what some might say, doing good is rewarded by more good acts—like presents under the tree!  Let’s celebrate our collective and personal hopes and beliefs in all that is good.  Let’s continue to transform healthcare through our belief that access to excellent healthcare is a right for all.