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ANCC Accreditation Criteria Review: Quality Outcomes 2b (QO2b)

Whether you are an accredited provider such as i3 Health or you are an educational partner working with an accredited provider, it's still important to understand the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) criteria that underlie nursing continuing professional development (NCPD) activities. This is part of a periodic series of posts looking at what each criterion means in general and what it might mean for you.

The fourth and final set of ANCC accreditation criteria focuses on quality outcomes (QO). While we tend to think of quality at the clinical or institutional level, in this case, the ANCC is looking at the quality of the NCPD program. There are three criteria within this set. QO2 is divided into 2 parts. We looked at the first part (QO2a) in the last post in this series. Today we'll look at the second part.

Criterion QO2b states:

Using 1 of the quality outcomes identified in QO2a, explain how the most recent evaluation process (QO1) resulted in the development and/or improvement of an identified outcome for Provider Unit operations, including how that outcome was measured and analyzed.

As a reminder, QO2a asks providers to list their quality outcome goals, with a minimum requirement of one goal. QO2b is building on that. If a provider only lists one goal in QO2a, that's what they will write about in QO2b. If they have listed multiple goals, then they get to pick.

Simply put, QO2b asks, "How did it go, and how do you know?"

Start at the beginning. Why was this outcome goal set? What in your evaluation process made you decide this was something your program should work towards?

Then describe the plan. What strategies did you use to meet your goal?

And finally describe how it went. What metrics did you use, and where did that information come from? Did you succeed?

The answer to that last question can be no. A provider unit isn't required to achieve all of their outcomes goals. A "no" may mean there were systemic barriers that were impossible to overcome. (Budgets, anyone?) Or it could mean that the goal was too high. Perhaps you got halfway there and plan to adjust the goal in the next accreditation cycle. It's important to remember that negative results are still results. We can still learn from them. This criterion simply asks that you are working to improving your program overall. Success comes in the fact that you've tried. 

Other Posts in This Series

ANCC Accreditation Criteria Overview

Organizational Overview 1 (OO1)

Organizational Overview 2 (OO2)

Structural Capacity 1 (SC1)

Structural Capacity 2 (SC2)

Structural Capacity 3 (SC3)

Educational Design Process 1 (EDP1)

Educational Design Process 2 (EDP2)

Educational Design Process 3 (EDP3)

Educational Design Process 4 (EDP4)

Educational Design Process 5 (EDP5)

Educational Design Process 6 (EDP6)

Educational Design Process 7 (EDP7)

Quality Outcomes 1 (QO1)

Quality Outcomes 2a (QO2a)


ACCME (2022). Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Available at:

ANCC (2021). Writing to the ANCC NCPD Accreditation Criteria Self-Learning Guide. Available at:

ANCC (2021). ANCC NCPD Accredited Provider Applicant Journey Guide. Available at:

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ANCC Accreditation Criteria Review: Quality Outcom...
Notes from the 2023 Alliance Annual Conference