Three nursing faculty members have been selected to serve in leadership roles at the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a national accreditation agency ensuring quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education and residency programs.

Michele Upvall, PhD, RN, CNE, was elected to serve as Chair of the CCNE Nominating Committee for 2017. She previously served as a member of the committee, which is responsible for preparing, evaluating and accepting nominations from members interested in serving on the Board of Directors.

“It is an honor to lead the nominating committee, identifying qualified individuals who will continue to carry out the commission’s mission of advancing excellence and innovation in nursing education, research and practice,” said Michele Upvall, coordinator of the Nurse Educator MSN and certificate programs at the UCF College of Nursing.

Diane Andrews, PhD, RN, and Laura Gonzalez, PhD, ARNP, CNE, CHSE, have been selected to serve as on-site evaluators for the CCNE accreditation review process. The two join nearly 740 nurse educators and practicing nurses from across the country who currently serve in the role and assist in the accreditation process. At the College of Nursing, Susan Chase, EdD, RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, and Upvall have served as on-site evaluators since 2007 and 2008, respectively. Chase serves as an evaluation team leader and also is an appointed member of the Report Review Committee, which reviews continuous improvement progress reports from all accredited programs as well as other compliance reports for CCNE.

As nurse educators, Andrews and Gonzalez will lend their expertise in nursing education and program development to assist in evaluating program curricula, faculty roles and qualifications, internal governance, student services, and student and faculty outcomes during an accreditation review. Each will participate in at least one on-site evaluation per year where they will travel with a team to a college or university in the U.S.

“As we strive as a nation to prepare a growing number of highly educated nurses, it is critical for public health that colleges and universities meet nationally recognized standards in providing a quality education,” said Diane Andrews, coordinator of the Leadership & Management MSN and Nurse Executive DNP at the College of Nursing. “Serving as an on-site evaluator allows me to contribute to this valuable process and foster continuous improvement among nursing programs.”

“CCNE values and fosters innovation in the accreditation process and in its accredited programs. As a researcher focused on innovation, I am honored to be able to give back and lend a unique viewpoint to the process from my experiences in the simulation community,” said Laura Gonzalez, simulation coordinator at the College of Nursing, current board member and vice president of programs for the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning, and former director of the Florida Healthcare Simulation Alliance.

CCNE is one of just two nursing program accrediting agencies nationally recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The commission began accreditation reviews in 1998 and currently accredits nearly 1,400 baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs across 705 colleges and universities in the U.S. The bachelor’s degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, post-master’s nurse practitioner certificates, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs at the UCF College of Nursing are accredited by CCNE.