COA Releases Crosswalk to Revised AACN Essentials

The COA has performed a crosswalk of the Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs – Practice Doctorate to the 2021 AACN Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education. Please find a copy of the crosswalk document here.

Programs are encouraged to meet the revised AACN Essentials and complete the crosswalk; however, this is not a COA accreditation requirement. If a program chooses to complete this crosswalk, the curriculum only needs to be mapped to the revised AACN Essentials advanced level nurse sub-competencies. By doing so, this will ensure that the curriculum is also mapped to all higher-level AACN domains, competencies and eight featured concepts (i.e., Clinical Judgment; Communication; Compassionate Care; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Ethics; Evidence-Based Practice; Health Policy; and Social Determinants of Health).

Please note that while the COA’s review of the revised Essentials was extensive, the resulting crosswalk is the COA’s own interpretation. The COA cannot guarantee that each program of nurse anesthesia education will be in full compliance with other accrediting agencies’ (e.g., CCNE, ACEN) requirements; it is the responsibility of each program to demonstrate it will meet the revised AACN Essentials for other accrediting agencies. The crosswalk does not address the level of assessment of the standards or sub-competencies, and the COA notes that AACN is not using or endorsing a specific form, tool, or system for assessment of the sub-competencies. Further, the COA notes that not all of the revised Essentials sub-competencies will be able to be assessed in practice: some may be evaluated via simulation, case study review, didactic knowledge, or other methods.

The COA has developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to the crosswalk—please find it available here. A presentation on the crosswalk will also be made on February 17, 2022 at the Assembly of Didactic and Clinical Educators.

Please contact the COA at or (224) 275-9130 with any questions.