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About the NLN

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Centers of Excellence in Nursing EducationTM
2005 Designees

Four outstanding schools of Nursing were recognized as NLN Centers of Excellence in Nursing Education during the Business Meeting, held on October 1, 2005 in Baltimore, MD. The Business Meeting is part of NLN's annual Education Summit. Two of the schools -- Excelsior College and Samford University -- were recognized for their sustained efforts to create environments that promote student learning and professional development. The other two schools -- the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro -- were acknowledged for their continuous efforts to promote ongoing faculty development. NLN president Joyce Murray, and NLN CEO Ruth Concoran presented handsome awards to representatives from each of the four programs.
Student Category

Excelsior College

Excelsior College has been known to many of us for its innovative programs. This was America’s first “virtual university,” providing educational opportunities for adult learners and those groups historically underrepresented in higher education. Since its inception in 1970, the School of Nursing has been a pioneer in non-traditional higher education, providing a competency-based outcomes assessment program through a distance education format that draws on the expertise of faculty from across the nation.

Flexible, dynamic curricula provide students the opportunity to pursue individual interests as they learn the practice of nursing, and the School of Nursing embraces innovative styles of education for students studying at a distance. Students and faculty are mutually engaged throughout the educational process, reflecting the program’s commitment to capitalizing on student interest and needs, empowering students, and supporting students as independent, self-directed learners.

Excelsior College’s School of Nursing has extensive evidence of how the program’s evolution over the last 30 years has impacted student learning and nursing education, an effort that leads one to acknowledge this school as having led our discipline in using research to design nursing education. Truly creative and insightful faculty -- who constantly develop new pedagogies that create and sustain dynamic learning environments -- have forged a new frontier in nursing education, as they remained cognizant of the need to achieve quality standards.

You can see why the School of Nursing at Excelsior College has been designated as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. Here today to celebrate this honor are Dr. Bridget Nettleton, Dean of the School of Nursing, and 6 additional representatives of the College. Congratulations to all!!!

Samford University

The Ida Moffett School of Nursing offers an innovative program that is characterized by a level of student/faculty collaboration that one Review Panel member described as “stellar.” It also is characterized by faculty encouraging and supporting students to make professional presentations at national and regional forums, deliberate efforts to promote the health of the poor in surrounding communities, and interactive teaching/ learning activities in both nursing and non-nursing courses. The integration of a problem-based learning model demonstrates how faculty use the results of pedagogical research to continually design and implement innovative programs that have positive outcomes.

Both undergraduate and graduate students engage with faculty to conduct research, they maintain professional portfolios of their accomplishments, all engage in service learning projects (such as mission trips, parish nursing initiatives, or the compassionate care grant with a local hospital), and all have the opportunity to study abroad. These experiences and the capstone project that all undergraduate and graduate students complete … and that focuses on real-world problems … combined with the emphasis on developing what the University refers to as “transformational learning abilities” have produced graduates who are highly respected and sought after.

The learning environment at Samford University is dynamic and is experienced within a mission-focused, nurturing community. Faculty also experience an active learning environment, in which they feel valued and supported to create many opportunities whereby both they and students -- often working together -- continually grow professionally. Their passion for their work as teachers is evident in all they do, as is their commitment to the core values of respect, trust, and caring.

It is an honor to welcome Dr. Nena Sanders, Dean and Professor of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, and her 14 faculty colleagues … and award the school of nursing at Samford University with designation as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.
Faculty Category

University of Louisiana - Lafayette

The application submitted by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette began with a comprehensive review of research and other literature related to empowerment, a perspective that is most appropriate given the faculty’s commitment to empowering students and their own sense of empowerment as they develop in their roles as teachers.

This school has designed and implemented a holistic approach to faculty development and documented the impact such a focus has had on faculty, students, and the entire program. This approach involves conducting pedagogical research, co-authoring publications, engaging in thoughtful peer review, attending education-focused workshops and conferences, and extensive collaboration and support among faculty and between the faculty and administration. And these efforts have been sustained over time, resulting in positive outcomes for faculty, students, and the school itself.

There is a strong collaborative and unified effort to continually improve as a faculty through formal and informal mechanisms, and systematic peer evaluation and deliberate mentoring are in evidence.

Overall, this school presents a picture of a dedicated faculty working together to facilitate student learning and faculty professional development, and the NLN is proud to name it as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Melinda Oberleitner, Professor and Head of the Department of Nursing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and her entire faculty. Dr. Oberleitner is joined today by one of her colleagues.
The University of North Carolina - Greensboro

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Nursing has used a deliberate program of faculty development, sustained over several years, to help faculty balance their scholarship, teaching, and service responsibilities. This occurs through the encouragement and support of creative approaches to teaching and learning, the implementation of evidence-based teaching practices, purposeful mentoring and use of a master teacher model, and implementation of a well-developed peer review system. There is a sense of “connectedness” among faculty, and sustained encouragement and support from students, alumni, benefactors, and the University administration.

Faculty regularly participate in faculty development through the University’s Teaching/Learning Center and attendance at local, regional, and national programs designed to enhance their knowledge and skills related to the faculty role. In turn, these individuals prepare graduate students for the teaching role and serve as expert facilitators at pedagogically-focused conferences/workshop/programs.

Finally, student and peer evaluations of faculty indicate a sustained level of outstanding performance, and the faculty retention rate at this school is, I’m sure, envied by all.

This school places a high priority on faculty development and understands its importance in shaping the educational program for students. It reflects a culture of faculty improvement and continuous attention to the development of pedagogical expertise through formal, informal, and collaborative activities that advance the professoriate and, in turn, strengthen what they provide for students.

One can easily see why the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has been designated as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, and we are delighted to personally congratulate Dr. Lynne Pearcey, Dean and Professor of the School of Nursing, and her nine UNCG colleagues.

2010 Designees | 2009 Designees | 2008 Designees | 2007 Designees | 2006 Designees
2005 Designees | 2004 Designees


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