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How to Apply

1. Pre-Application Process

Conducting a self-assessment is a good first step to determine whether your organization meets the requirements for Pathway to Excellence or Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care designation. The process enables your organization to compare itself against the program's compulsory elements to measure your current state. The following resources are available to assist in the decision process:

Applying for Pathway to Excellence or Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care designation is a significant commitment that requires three key elements:

  • High-level oversight.
  • Realistic timeline.
  • Realistic budget.

2. Complete Online Application

Organizations are required to submit their electronic application to the Pathway Program Office no later than 4 months prior to the submission date requested.  

A completed Pathway application includes:

  • Submission of online application
  • Email the CNO or DON CV, copy of Hospital Operating Certificate or other independent verification of licensed beds, and Organizational Chart to
  • The Application fee is non-refundable and should be mailed when the online application is submitted. Application will be processed when payment is received. ANCC does not invoice for application fee.
  • Mail Application fee to: 
ANCC Pathway
P.O. Box 505012
St. Louis, MO 63150-5012

3. Submit Electronic Document

PLEASE NOTE: The February 2018 Document Submission cycle has reached the maximum number of applicants. The next available submission cycle is April 2018.

Document submission dates are as follows:

  • February 1
  • April 1
  • June 1
  • August 1
  • November 1

To see the current fees, check the Program Fees page.
Depending on availability, applicants requesting a Pathway Standards Document extension may choose from the next 2 submission cycles. Applicants requesting to extend beyond 2 submission cycles must reapply.

4. Organizational Demographic Form (ODF)

All organization's that submit documents for the Pathway program must also submit an ODF. Organizations must complete the applicable ODF (Pathway to Excellence or Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care).

ODFs are due to the Pathway Program Office at the time of document submission, as well as an interim requirement if designated. The ODF should be emailed to by the document submission due date. Late submissions will incur a $500.00 fee. 

5. Survey

Organizations that move to survey will be contacted by the Pathway Program Office with additional information and instructions on completing the confidential online survey. Learn more about the Pathway Nurse Survey

6. Designation Requirements

To achieve the Pathway to Excellence or Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care designation:

  • All Practice Standards must be met.
  • Survey requirements must be met.

The Commission on Pathway to Excellence makes the final determination regarding designation.

Please Note: When an organizations designation expires and if the organization fails to designate, that organization will be considered a initial application. (Ex. Conference Recognition, website and other forms of advertisement)



Last updated: 5/22/2017