ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Review: Quality Outcomes 3a

The third set of Accredited Provider Distinction Criteria builds on the standard Quality Outcomes criteria. There are three criteria within this group, and all three must be met for a provider to achieve “Distinction.”

The first criterion in this section (3a) states: 

Evidence demonstrates a process description and example that the Provider Unit utilizes innovative and creative approaches (continuous professional development of CNE team members, use of technology, interprofessional collaboration, or similar) to evaluate its effectiveness.

This criterion looks at how we evaluate the program as a whole. This process is generally done by looking at evaluation forms and maybe longitudinal surveys. We compile questions from multiple activities to get a picture of the whole NCPD program. It’s a functional way to evaluation how effective an NCPD program is, but it’s not very creative. This criterion asks programs to do something more.

So how does a program go about using innovative or creative approaches to evaluate its effectiveness? That’s hard to answer because each program is unique. Perhaps you hold focus groups. Maybe you have the capacity to datamine your electronic health records. Or you might have individualized learning plans that support the continuous professional development of your nursing staff.

Because this criterion is looking for you to be innovative or creative, there is no one right way to meet its requirements. But there is a basic framework you can use. Start by looking at how you currently evaluation your program. Is there other data that would be useful? How can you get that data? How can you analyze it? What does it tell you about your program? Each NCPD program will have a different answer to those questions.

By broadening the sources of information used to evaluate the impact of an NCPD program, planners can learn how to provide better and more effective education. It may take some extra work, but the results will be worth it as the quality of your program improves.


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