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McHenry Elected to AACN National Board, Selected as CCNE Evaluator

February 12, 2016

Dr. Lepaine McHenry, dean of the College of Nursing at OBU, was elected as a national board member-at-large with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). She was also recently selected into the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) training program for prospective on-site evaluators.

The AACN is the national voice for university and four-year-college education programs in nursing. AACN represents more than 780 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide. Its educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's and graduate-degree nursing education. In addition, AACN assists deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.

“The opportunity to serve on the Board of AACN gives our university and college a lead role in advancing nursing education,” McHenry said. “This positions us to be an active participate on a national level in promoting excellence in baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. The ability to serve as a site visitor allows us to gain a closer view of the accreditation process and learn how other universities are not just meeting but excelling in accreditation standards.”

The AACN announced the results Feb. 5 of its 2016 election to fill seats on its board of directors and nominating committee. With votes cast by member deans from the nation's schools of nursing with baccalaureate and higher degree programs, those joining McHenry on the AACN board include Ann Cary, chair-elect, University of Missouri Kansas City; Judy Beal, secretary, Simmons College; Anita Hufft, member-at-large, Texas Woman's University; and Cynthia McCurren, member-at-large, Grand Valley State University. Newly elected members of AACN's nominating committee include Vicki Keough from Loyola University Chicago and Julie Sanford from James Madison University.

McHenry was also selected to the training program for on-site evaluators with the CCNE. The organization was established in 1996 and is the premier accrediting agency in the nation for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education programs and nurse residency programs. Nationally recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, nearly 700 nurse educators and practicing nurses from across the country currently serve as on-site evaluators for the CCNE accreditation process.

She was selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants to attend the CCNE training program for prospective on-site evaluators March 7-8, 2016, in Reston, Virginia. In order to be included in the pool of CCNE evaluators, participants must attend and complete the entire two-day training. The program provides critical information about CCNE as well as the roles and responsibilities of on-site evaluators in assessing nursing education programs during the accreditation review process.

On-site evaluators must commit to participating in at least one on-site evaluation per year. These on-site evaluations typically last three days and in addition to the travel, an on-site evaluation requires significant preparation, such as reading the self-study materials the nursing program has prepared for accreditation purposes, and follow through, such as finalizing the written sections of the accreditation team report that have been assigned to them.

Prior to her current appointment at OBU as dean in 2013, McHenry worked as a nurse educator for 15 years at the University of Arkansas, which included serving in the role of assistant director of the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. Her background in nursing regulation and practice includes service as vice president of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, vice president of the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration, founding president of the Arkansas Directors of Nursing Administrators in Long Term Care, and president of the Arkansas Society for Healthcare Educators. She was appointed by Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to serve on the state's Minority Health Commission, the Long Term Care Facility Advisory Board, and the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.