Nursing program is CCNE accredited but not ACEN

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My nursing program is CCNE accredited but not ACEN, however im getting my ADN and im concerned that this might present to be an issue?

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Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

@NRSKarenRn is absolutely correct.

Accreditation is essential in nursing education as it can impact your eligibility for licensure, employment opportunities, and further education.

Either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Neither one is better than the other. CCNE focuses on baccalaureate and graduate programs, including online; ACEN accredits nursing programs at all levels.

Read What you need to know about accreditation.

Here are some key points to consider regarding the differences between CCNE and ACEN accreditation for your Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN):

Accreditation Bodies

  • CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education): Focuses on bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in nursing.
  • ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing): Accredits nursing programs at all levels, including diploma, associate, bachelor, and graduate.


State boards of nursing generally accept CCNE and ACEN accreditation for licensure eligibility.

*As long as your program is accredited by either CCNE or ACEN and approved by your state's BON/BRN, you should be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam required to become a licensed registered nurse (RN).*

Further Education

If you plan to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher degree, most institutions accept credits from either CCNE or ACEN-accredited programs. However, checking with prospective BSN or graduate programs is always a good idea to ensure they receive your ADN credits.

Program Quality and Outcomes

Both accrediting bodies evaluate nursing programs on various quality standards, including curriculum, faculty qualifications, and student outcomes. The difference in accreditation should not necessarily reflect the quality of your education but rather the focus and standards of the accrediting body.

Given that your ADN program is CCNE-accredited, it is recognized and respected in nursing. However, you may want to:

  • Check with the state board of nursing (or any state where you plan to practice) to ensure no specific accreditation requirements exist.
  • If you plan to continue your education, verify that the BSN or graduate programs you are interested in will accept your ADN credits from a CCNE-accredited program.

In general, your CCNE accreditation is fine, but doing some research tailored to your specific career and educational goals will ensure you are well-prepared.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Both CCNE and ACEN are nursing accreditations, either is recognized nationally so would not be a problem when pursuing advanced education or by employers.