May 2021

NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation Gains Initial Recognition From U.S. Department of Education

United States - District of Columbia

The National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA) accredits over 100 nursing programs that enroll over 12,000 students across the country. Beginning in July 2014, the NLN CNEA began the process of seeking initial recognition by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) as a specialized programmatic accreditor, and it filed its formal petition for ED recognition in 2018. In July 2019, both ED staff and its National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) formally recommended initial recognition; however, in September 2020, the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of ED denied recognition. Faegre Drinker’s education team prepared the NLN CNEA’s appeal to the Secretary of ED, noting that NLN CNEA had complied with all of the longstanding criteria for ED recognition of programmatic accrediting agencies, and that the Principal Deputy Under Secretary’s decision to deny recognition advanced new and unsupported interpretations of applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. On May 24, 2021, ED Secretary Miguel Cardona reversed the denial and granted NLN CNEA initial recognition for a period of five years.

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