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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. Nurses at all levels conduct a self-assessment and fully document how the Pathway Practice Standards are active in its practices, policies and culture. The process enables your organization to compare itself against the program's compulsory elements to measure your current state. 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, and a realistic budget. The following resources are available to assist in the decision process:

Choose applicable self-assessment form, if submitting document after January 1, 2017

Visit our Products page for other resources to assist you in this decision process.

Start the Journey
An organization earns or renews the Pathway to Excellence® designation through a comprehensive review process.
Effective January 1, 2017, The Pathway to Excellence designation is granted for 4 years.

Journey to Pathway Designation



Online Application & Application Fee
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, in addition to, emailing the CNO or DON CV, copy of Hospital Operating Certificate or other independent verification of licensed beds, and Organizational Chart to
  • A non-refundable $2,500 application fee mailed to ANCC Pathway, P.O. Box 505012, St. Louis, MO 63150-5012. Application is processed upon payment receipt. ANCC does not invoice for the application fee.

Document Submission & Document Submission Fee
Organizations are required to mail

Appraisal Process
During the Appraisal Process, the document submission is evaluated by at least three ANCC nursing experts. Appraisers evaluate the content provided by the organization for each Pathway Standard requirement. An organization must meet all Pathway Standards.
Nurse Survey
Following a successful Pathway Standards document review, the Pathway Nurse Survey is administered. Nurses in the organization confirm the integration of Pathway Practice Standards using a confidential online survey conducted by the ANCC. Organization must meet survey thresholds.
Designation Decision
The Commission on Pathway to Excellence conducts a thorough review of the Pathway Standards document report and Pathway Nurse Survey results and makes the final decision regarding designation based on the appraisers' evaluations and the Pathway Nurse Survey results.