'Standards define us a community – not only to ourselves, but to other colleagues and stakeholders around us. They define us as a community of perioperative nursing professionals dedicated to upholding a certain level of quality care, and they serve as a reminder or aide-mémoire for our professional practice. This, in turn, helps us advocate for consistency in that level of quality care in order to ensure the best outcomes for all our patients.'
Dr Sonya Osborne, ACORN Standards Editor 2009–2018
The ACORN Standards regularly undergo a rigorous process of review prior to being released for general use. The process ensures that standards and guidelines are outcome focused and based on the best available evidence. The evidence is translated into meaningful recommendations that are flexible and adaptable to varying local conditions, while still adhering to the principle of a standard of practice. The process also involves the end-user as members of standard review teams, that is, perioperative nursing clinicians, educators, managers, researchers and industry representatives, as appropriate.
The flow of the Standards Review process is presented in the figure below. The process continues after the first draft reaches the Editor by going through a series of rounds of comment and feedback, between the Editor, the Standards Committee, external stakeholders and the review team, until the document is finally ready for approval by the ACORN board.