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Accreditation Standard 1: Mission, Goals and Objectives

What are they and why are they important?

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1777

Basically, the mission is the 30-second elevator speech that describes the program.  Usually the mission statement itself remains consistent over time.  However, the way the mission is implemented frequently changes over time with advancements in clinical science and practice, shifts in in training pedagogy, and the evolution of the sponsoring organization’s structure.  In practical terms, this means that while the mission remains constant, the goals and objectives will likely be modified over time.

Quoting Henry David Thoreau:  "It's not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?"  The Mission, Goals and Objectives give direction to our ‘busy-ness’.  They are the blueprints that determine the form and function of the program.

Overview of the Accreditation Standards

History and Purpose

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1022

As promised, we’ll begin to explore how the Accreditation Standards were created and why they are important.  The take home point about the Standards is that they provide the framework for excellence and evaluation as well as pragmatic guidelines for the design and delivery of the program.  They are the compass rose for the program.  As Franklin D. Roosevelt said: "Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground."

The Standards were intended to be broad enough to encompass various NP specialties, yet focused enough to provide a meaningful peer evaluation of programmatic excellence.  We will take a journey through each of these Standards, their Elements and sometimes their Sub-elements.


Introduction to Series - Accreditation Standards as Signposts in Program Development

Accreditation: Path to Programmatic Excellence

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1086
Program development can seem like an endless path. And with multiple iterations of improvements, it’s hard to know when something is ‘good enough’.  If the mission, goal and objectives are not clearly defined, you don’t know when they've been achieved.  It’s like being lost in a maze. As Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else.” 

This is where the accreditation standards can be incredibly useful.  This post is the introduction to a series that will explore each of the Consortium's eight Accreditation Standards and how they can serve as a pragmatic guide to program development.

It's a Small World for NP Training Programs

6 Degrees of Separation and 3 Degrees of Influence

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1147
The notion of social networking is now ubiquitous.  It contributed to the philosophy of social networking that resulted in Twitter and Facebook.  It serves as the foundation of network theory used in power grid analysis, disease transmission, graph theory, corporate communication, and computer circuitry.  And it contributes to the growth of accreditation in the NP postgraduate training program world.   I had my own experience with six degrees of separation this past weekend.

Accreditation: When leaders face difficult decisions

Credibility, Trust and Safety

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 742
The news in DC this week is full of stories about major public institutions and public figures and their credibility or lack thereof, safety or lack thereof, and trust or lack thereof.  There were two consistent questions: “Were they adhering to their core beliefs and ‘doing the right thing’?”  and “What would the consequences be?”


The question for us is, what does all this have to do with accreditation?  Credibility, safety and trust.  Or lack thereof. Taking the high road.  Taking decisive action.  Being willing to take a potentially controversial position because it is the right thing to do.  Courtesy of David DeWolf, it is important to “Be deliberate, decisive, and move on.”  Again… doing the right thing…