to main content Nursing Care Center Accreditation Fact Sheet | The Joint Commission

Nursing Care Center Accreditation Fact Sheet

The Nursing Care Center (NCC) Accreditation program combines an enhanced patient- and resident-centered quality framework with collaborative onsite evaluation to help post-acute care, sub-acute and long-term care facilities:

  • Proactively identify and address vulnerabilities to safeguard patients and residents.
  • Minimize the risk of readmissions to hospitals that are critical to the success of their strategic partnerships.

Program overview

NCC standards focus on key care processes that contribute to improved outcomes for all patients and residents. Standards address person- and resident-centered care, and the cultural transformation away from institutionalized care. The standards can be applied to any type of facility providing post-acute care, sub-acute and long-term care, including facilities serving special populations such as pediatrics and brain injury/rehabilitation facilities. Accreditation standards also include Memory Care requirements that address critical quality and safety issues for nursing home patients and residents with cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

The accreditation manual includes the standards and additional features to support overall performance improvement, including “tracer prompts,” documentation checklists and action planning tools to help users bring their organization into compliance with standards.

Onsite surveys are conducted by NCC surveyors who are specially trained professionals with experience in nursing care centers and the specialty certification areas described below. The survey helps organization staff identify potential risk areas, as well as high-performing areas. Surveys that include certification have a dedicated “transitions of care” session. 

Specialty certifications

NCC accredited organizations can choose to become certified for specialized services. Certification provides additional recognition of the quality of a nursing care center’s specialty services that can be attractive to hospital and health system networks, other care providers, accountable care organizations, payers, and the public. Certifications include:

  • Post-Acute Care: Recognizes organizations that provide advanced, rehabilitative services to patients or residents within the nursing facility setting.
  • Memory Care: Recognizes organizations that demonstrate advanced competency in dementia care services. Starting July 2022 in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, NCCs achieving Memory Care Certification demonstrate compliance with standards informed with the Alzheimer’s Association’s Dementia Care Practice Recommendations,[1] enabling patients and residents to remain engaged in their environment and to function at the highest cognitive level possible.


The cost includes two components: an annual fee, due each January; and an onsite fee, due only during the year the onsite survey is conducted. Both fees are determined by the organization’s average daily census and the services provided.

For more information

[1]Alzheimer’s Association. Dementia Care Practice Recommendations (2018). Gerontologist, 58: S1, S1–S9. doi:10.1093/geront/gnx182