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Your home base for all NAACLS announcements, news and special features

By Dianne M. Cearlock, Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Swartz, IT Manager

The Annual Survey of Programs was disseminated to program directors of 613 NAACLS accredited and approved programs in late 2017. Submission of the completed survey is required annually by the accreditation and approval standards. Presented here are data indicating numbers of NAACLS accredited and approved programs and graduates, certification examination pass rates, graduation rates, and placement rates. Also included are data reflecting trends in program resources and program director turnover.

Ten (10)-year longitudinal data for the numbers of programs by program type appear in Table 1. The data reveal increases in the total number of programs from 479 accredited and 63 approved programs in 2008 to 544 accredited and 67 approved programs in 2017 and that trend is seen for all program types except Cytogenetics (CG). In terms of the percentages of total programs, the most concentrated areas of growth are seen with Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) (16% increase from 2008-2017) and Histotechnician (HT)/Histotechnologist (HTL) (24% increase over the decade) programs. The numbers of Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) programs grew by 5%; the number of Phlebotomy (PBT) programs is essentially stable. The numbers of Diagnostic Molecular Science (DMS), Pathologists’ Assistant (PathA), and Clinical Assistant (CA) programs increased during the 10-year period but the statistical significance, if any, is difficult to determine based on the smaller numbers of programs. 

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For those of you attending our upcoming NAACLS Workshop on February 22nd, the accompanying materials were emailed out today.

If you have not received the email by the end of the business day, please check your spam folder. If you still did not receive the email, please call the office.

We look forward to seeing you in Houston!! Stay tuned to the NAACLS News for upcoming workshop announcements.

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We invite you to view the NAACLS 2017 Annual Report on our website.

The Annual Report includes a Message from the President, 2017 Program Data, 2017 Board of Directors’ Actions, 2017 Volunteers, Statements of Financial Position for FY ending June 30, 2017, and Rosters for the NAACLS Board, Review Committees and Staff.

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The summer 2018 cycle includes programs that will have site visits during spring 2018 and will be placed on the agenda for the summer 2018 meeting of the review committees. Recommendations from the committees will be acted upon by the Board in fall 2018.

MLS Programs:

Andrews University Program for Medical Laboratory Science, Berrien Springs, MI

Arkansas State University, State University, AR

Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, GA

Ascension – Saint Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton, WI

Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, FL

Conemaugh Memorial Hospital, Johnstown, PA

Farmingdale State College, Farmingdale, NY

Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL (Initial)

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By Bill Hunt, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM

As we approach the end of the year a quick reminder that NAACLS is requesting public comments on the proposed changes to the Pathologist Assistant Program requirements and the proposed changes and “updates” to the DCLS standards. During my time on the board it is surprising that minimal comments come forward when changes are proposed. It is important that we hear your voice, so please submit your comments by January 9, 2018. Details about how to submit may be found on the website or in an earlier blog post.

Our programs are not static and NAACLS must continue to develop standards to adapt.  Although I teach laboratory operations for a hospital based program and serve on the Advisory Committee I am not a full time instructor. As I look back at my career I am struck by the great instructors who taught me Medical Laboratory Science so many years ago that have shaped my professional career.

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NAACLS is seeking candidates for our Programs Review Committees. The following positions will be open for nomination in 2018:

Review Committee for Accredited Programs (RCAP)

Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) Representative – 1

Histotechnician/Histotechnologist (HT/HTL) Representative – 1

Pathologists’ Assistant (PathA) Representative – 1

Two-Year Educator (i.e. Dean, Department Chair) – 1

Clinical Pathologist – 1

Programs Approval Review Committee (PARC)

Phlebotomy (PBT) Representative – 1

Information on eligibility and responsibilities for the positions, along with Candidate Fact Sheets for those seeking nominations, are available here – Committee Membership Info.

Nominations, which should include completed Candidate Fact Sheets and CV’s, need to be sent to the NAACLS office by February 1, 2018. Nominations may be faxed to (773) 714-8886, emailed to, or sent via mail to 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, Illinois, 60018. Submitted nominations will be forwarded for a vote to the NAACLS Board of Directors in April 2018.

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By Dianne M. Cearlock, PhD, Chief Executive Officer

At the September 29, 2017 meeting of the NAACLS Board of Directors, in addition to accreditation and approval awards recommended by the Review Committee on Accredited Programs (RCAP) and the Program Approval Review Committee (PARC), the following items were addressed:

  • Elections for Board of Director officer positions were held. President-Elect Bill Hunt succeeded Yasmen Simonian as President. Elected were Peter Hu (Vice President), Pat Ellinger (Secretary), Lynn Brodeur (Treasurer), and Julie O’Sullivan Maillet (Member at Large). Leaving the Board after completion of two terms were Yasmen Simonian and Margaret Fritsma (ASCLS and ASCP representatives, respectively.) Additionally, incoming President Bill Hunt appointed various Board members to serve as standing committee chairs and review committee liaisons.
  • NAACLS policies for alignment of cycles when accredited and approved programs with the same sponsor go through the review process simultaneously were updated to be consistent with the 2012 Standards.
  • Updated Standards for programs offering a degree at the doctoral level of practice (DCLS or other appropriate degree), proposed by the Doctoral Review Committee (DRC), were approved to be released with a request for public comment. Comments will be reviewed at the next Board meeting in April 2018. Please monitor the NAACLS News blog for the proposed Standards and information about how to submit comments.
  • The proposed change to Standard VII.A for Pathologist Assistant program directors was approved to be released with a request for public comment. Comments will be reviewed at the next Board meeting in April 2018. Please monitor the NAACLS News blog for the proposed change and information about how to submit comments.
  • Clarifying language was adopted for inclusion into the Standards Compliance Guide indicating that psychomotor phlebotomy skills remain a requirement for MLT but not MLS programs.
  • Several changes to the Review Committee on Accredited Programs (RCAP) leadership structure and composition were adopted.
  • Following a period of public comment, clarifying changes to Standard VII.C.2 (Clinical Liaison, Qualifications and Responsibilities) were adopted. The Standards with the clarifying changes will be posted on the NAACLS website.
  • Several clarifying revisions proposed by the joint review committees (RCAP and PARC) to the Sponsoring Institution Fact Sheet, Clinical Facility Fact Sheet, Program Official Approval Form, self study and site visit report forms, and the Standard Compliance Guide were adopted. Programs receiving notification of renewals during fall of 2017 will be required to include the revised fact sheets in the self study report.