Fast Facts for Curriculum Development in NursingExcerpt from Chapter 1 of "Fast Facts for Curriculum Development in Nursing."

Before implementing a new nursing educational program or making major changes to an existing program, several approval requirements must be met. Every organization has an approval process for new programs or major changes in an existing program and this process will differ from one organization to another. Once a nursing program, new or revised, has organizational approval, the next step is to secure state approval. Typically, this state approval is granted through the board of nursing, but other state agencies may be involved. The next step in the process may be achieving national accreditation. Usually a new nursing program must have students enrolled before national accreditation can be initiated. Each program level (practical nursing, associate degree, baccalaureate) must meet specified program standards: organization, state board of nursing, and accrediting agency. Prior planning for new nursing program approval is essential since it can take up to one year to implement the program. Knowledge about the approval processes and specific program requirements will aid program development and implementation.


  • Program approval at the local and state levels is mandatory
    for all new nursing programs.
  • Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance.
  • If possible, address the state board of nursing requirements
    for new program approval into the proposal submitted
    for internal approval. Doing so will save time.

What advice would you give to someone starting or revising a nursing program?