CNE is designed to improve the professional practice of nursing and to positively impact patient, system, and/or population outcomes. CNE is defined as “learning activities intended to build upon the educational and experiential bases of the 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.”

Within an accreditation framework, the following principles of high-quality educational design are employed:

  • Addresses a professional practice gap (change in standard of care, problem in practice, or opportunity for improvement);
  • Incorporates the active involvement of a Nurse Planner in the planning process;
  • Analyzes educational needs (knowledge, skills, and/or practices) of registered nurses and/or health care team members that underlie the problem or opportunity (why the problem or opportunity exists);
  • Identifies one or more learning outcomes to be achieved by learners participating in the activity;
  • Uses strategies that engage the learner in the educational activity and are congruent with the educational needs and desired learning outcomes;
  • Chooses content based on evidence-based practice or best available evidence;
  • Evaluates achievement of learning outcomes; and
  • Plans independently from the influence of commercial interest organizations.