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The Consortium Receives Federal Recognition as Accrediting Agency by the U.S. Department of Education

The National Nurse Practitioner Residency & Fellowship Training Consortium (“The Consortium”) Receives Federal Recognition as Accrediting Agency by the U.S. Department of Education

Middletown, Conn., January 31, 2022:  The National Nurse Practitioner Residency & Fellowship Training Consortium (the Consortium) is pleased to announce its federal recognition as an accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

This decision by the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education follows a multi-year review by the ED. With the recommendation from U.S. Department of Education staff and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), this decision assures the public and stakeholders of the Consortium’s rigor and standards in accrediting postgraduate residency and fellowship programs for nurse practitioners in both primary care and specialty care areas.

Founded by a national group of nurse practitioner experts in NP practice, training and education, the Consortium was incorporated in 2015 as an independent non-profit organization by Community Health Center, Inc., which created the first formal postgraduate NP residency program in 2007. Today, there are over 250 primary care postgraduate training programs for NPs, as well as hundreds of specialty programs. The model has expanded quickly from community health centers to other major health systems, including Veterans Affairs, and many programs have expanded to include physician assistants.

The Consortium exists to support new and ongoing postgraduate training programs for nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the achievement and maintenance of the highest standards of rigor and quality, consistent with achieving the goal of an expert healthcare workforce prepared to meet the needs of patients and society as a whole.

“Seeking recognition from the U.S. Department of Education has been a priority of the Consortium since its inception,” said NNPRFTC Executive Director Kerry Bamrick, MBA. “Becoming a federally recognized accreditor assures the public that the Consortium is implementing nationally approved best practices in accreditation. It also assures integrity, transparency and fairness.”

NNPRFTC Accreditation Commission Chair Dr. DoQuyen Huynh, DNP, FNP, ARNP, FAAN stated, “The Consortium has worked diligently for the last six years to pursue recognition from the U.S. Department of Education. Attaining this recognition not only speaks to the quality and rigor of our accreditation process, but it is also a testament to the synergy of minds that came together to achieve something greater for healthcare and for our patients. Education and healthcare are fundamental tools in creating a socially just society and should be readily offered to those who seek it. The Accreditation Commission supports the education of our next generation of diverse and talented clinicians who will provide high-quality equitable healthcare to all.”

“We have traveled a long path since the first postgraduate NP training programs were established,” said Consortium Board Chair Dr. Margaret Flinter, PhD, APRN, FNP-c, FAAN, FAANP. “Nurse practitioners have been a vital component of our healthcare system for more than 50 years, and the evolution of formal postgraduate training recognized the central and leading role they play in our ever more complex health care system.  The Consortium is proud to have the ED recognition of the role it plays in assuring that their postgraduate training programs meet the highest standards for quality and impact.”

The U.S. Department of Education granted the Consortium initial recognition for a period of five years.