“Lions, Tigers and Preparing for Accreditation Oh My!” Reducing Your Anxiety with Strategies for Success

“Lions, Tigers and Preparing for Accreditation Oh My!” Reducing Your Anxiety with Strategies for Success

The idea of preparing for an accreditation visit can be overwhelming to administration and faculty at any level for nursing programs. Anxiety along with increased demands for preparation (workload) are often associated with planning in advance for a visit. Questions such as: What will site visitors expect me to know? How should I answer questions? How can I get organized in advance? This session will discuss how you can create strategies with preparing for an accreditation visit while reducing the fear of the “lions, tigers and anxiety!”

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the elements of the accreditation process that create discomfort for faculty.
  2. Discuss strategies that can reduce anxiety and foster preparation for the site visit.
  3. Increase comfort level with future accreditation visits with knowledge of what’s expected as a faculty member/administrator.


Janet McMahon, DNP, MSN, RN, ANEF

Janet McMahon, DNP, MSN, RN, ANEF Manager, Nurse Educator-Integration Specialist ATI Nursing Education Dr. McMahon has been in academia in various roles for over 28 years. She is a distinguished Fellow in nursing education by the National League for Nursing. Her vast experience includes serving in the role as a professor, national consultant, published author and reviewer in nursing education, national presenter and key-note speaker in academia and healthcare industry, and invited commencement speaker. Professionally, she has previously served as a site visitor for Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). She also served as Item writer and reviewer, including serving on the Panel of Judges (2005), National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Dr. McMahon has received special recognition over the years with some of the following accomplishments: 2018 Rookie of the Year, ATI Nursing Education, Professional Scholarship Recognition Recipient, Sentara College of Health Sciences, and The Innovation in Teaching Award, Towson University, Outstanding Graduate Alumni Award, Penn State University, College of Health and Human Development, Outstanding Nursing Alumni, Penn State University, College of Nursing.

Other accomplishments include:

  • Fellow, National League for Nursing (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education (ANEF)
  • Previously served NLN Board of Governors and various NLN committees.
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Member (Beta Chapter, Penn State University)
  • The Pennsylvania State University Nursing Alumni Association Recent Publications: Tompkins McMahon, J. (2017-2018). Improving Medication Administration Safety in the Clinical Environment. MEDSURG Nursing, 26(6), 374-409. McMahon, J. (2015). Improving medication safety in the clinical environment. Virginia Henderson E- repository, Sigma Theta Tau International, Retrieved from http://www.nursinglibrary.org/vhl/handle/10755/592588#

Debbie Lyles, MN, PhD, CNE

Debbie Lyles, PhD, MN, RN, CNE, is the Manager of Consulting at Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI). She has been a registered nurse for over 35 years with 28 years of post-secondary nursing education experience. Her nursing education experience includes RN-BSN and Associate Degree Nursing. Lyles graduated from MUSC in Charleston, South Carolina with a bachelor of science in nursing. She has worked as a clinical nurse in pediatric critical care, pediatric oncology, and home health. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina and a PhD in post-secondary and adult education from Capella University. Prior to joining ATI, she served in various senior administrative positions, faculty positions, and advisory boards at the state and local level. Her areas of expertise include curriculum development, accreditation, curriculum implementation, student policies, and program evaluation. Active in the accreditation process, she served as a site visitor, site visitor chair, review panel member and appeal panel member. Research interests include simulation, specifically capstone simulation experience and interdisciplinary simulation. In addition, she has been a member of Sigma Theta Tau and received several recognitions of teaching excellence throughout her career.