Glossary of Terms

Approved Provider: Recognition by ANCC of a provider's capacity to award contact hours for nursing continuing professional development and education activities, planned, implemented, and evaluated by the provider. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Nursing Education and Professional Development is an accredited provider.

Commercial Interest Organization: Any entity either producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing healthcare goods or services consumed by, or used on patients or an entity that is owned or controlled by an entity that produces, markets, re-sells, or distributes healthcare goods or services consumed by, or used on patients.

Commercial Support: Financial, or in-kind, contributions given by a commercial interest organization, which is used to pay all or part of the costs of a CNE activity: this must be disclosed to learners. Providers of commercial support may not be providers or co-providers of an educational activity.

Conflict of Interest (COI): An individual with the ability to control content of an educational activity has a financial relationship with a commercial interest organization, the products or services of which are related to the topic of the activity; this must be disclosed to learners.

Contact Hour: A unit of measurement that describes 60 minutes of an organized learning activity that is either a didactic or clinical experience.

Continuing Nursing Education: This consists of planned, organized learning experiences designed to improve the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of nurses. It enhances nursing practice, education, theory development, research, and administration. The outcome of continuing education should be to improve the health of the public and nurses pursuit of their professional career goals.

Continuing Education Unit (CEU): The ANCC Accreditation Program does not utilize this term when referring to continuing nursing education unit of measurement. A specific, standard measure (ten clock hours) of educational achievement used by many universities and professional organizations under the criteria of the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) to attest to clock hour completion of continuing education activities.

Content Reviewer: An individual selected to evaluate an educational activity during the planning process or after it has been planned but prior to delivery to learners for quality of content, potential bias, and any other aspects of the activity that may require evaluation.

Nursing Continuing Professional Development Activities: Those learning activities intended to build upon the educational and experiential bases of professional RN for the enhancement of practice, education, administration, research, or theory development, to the end of improving the health of the public and RNs pursuit of their professional career goals.

Joint Provider: Planning, developing, and implementing an educational activity by two or more organizations or agencies. When educational activities are co-provided and one of the providing entities is ANCC-accredited [TNA approved], the ANCC-accredited [TNA approved] provider unit retains responsibility for particular aspects of the process to assure adherence to all the ANCC [TNA] criteria. If collaborating providers are all ANCC-accredited [TNA approved], one is designated to retain the provider responsibilities by mutual, written agreement. The unit designated to retain these responsibilities is referred to as the provider, and the other collaborating providers are referred to as co-providers. If neither entity is approved as a provider, one takes the lead and is referred to as the provider of the activity; the other is the co-provider.

Educational Design: A plan for instruction documenting a needs assessment, description of the target audience, learning outcomes, content outline, learning engagement methods, evaluation strategies, and designation of appropriate physical facilities and resources.

Faculty Directed Activity (face-to-face): The provider controls all aspects of the learning. The provider determines the learning objectives based on needs assessment, content of the learning activity, the presentation method, number of contact hours, evaluation, and evaluation methods. Provider directed activities may be delivered in a variety of formats, including electronic, journal, lecture/seminar, etc.

In-service Educational Activities: Learning experiences provided in the work setting for the purpose of assisting staff members in performing their assigned functions in that particular agency or institution. Also: In-service education consists of planned instruction or training programs to assist the nurse to perform in the work setting. In-services are provided to maintain or increase competency in promoting compliance with institutional policies and procedures, the demonstration of new equipment, the explanation of procedures and the practice of previously learned skills.

Learner Directed, Learner Paced Activity: A learning activity in which the learner takes the initiative in identifying his or her learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes. The learner also determines the pace at which the learning activity is engaged. Learner directed activities may be developed with or without the help of others, but they are engaged in by only one individual.

Nurse Planner: The Nurse Planner is actively involved in all aspects of planning, implementation and evaluation of the continuing nursing education activity. The Nurse Planner is responsible for ensuring appropriate educational design principles are used and processes are consistent with the requirements of the ANCC Accreditation Program as defined by TNA. The Nurse Planner of an Approved Provider Unit must be a licensed registered nurse and hold a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing and be knowledgeable about the CE process and adult learning principles.

Nursing Professional Development: The lifelong process of active participation by nurses in learning activities that assist in developing and maintaining their continuing competence, enhancing their professional practice, and support achievement of their career goals. (Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, ANA, 2010)

Planning Committee: At least 2 individuals responsible for planning each educational activity; one individual must be a Nurse Planner and one individual must have appropriate subject matter expertise.

Purpose: A statement describing why and for whom an educational program has been designed. Note: In a CE activity, the purpose is the statement(s) of intent that describe how this activity will enrich the learners contribution to quality health care and his or her pursuit of professional career goals. (Activities intended to assist the participant to acquire, maintain, and/or increase the level of competence in fulfilling his or her assigned responsibilities specific to the expectations of the employer are considered in-service education or orientation and do not qualify as continuing education).