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About the NLN

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Centers of Excellence in Nursing EducationTM
2006 Designees

 
Three outstanding schools of nursing were recognized as NLN Centers of Excellence in Nursing Education during the annual Business Meeting at the NLN's Education Summit, on September 30, 2006 in New York City. The University of Oklahoma College of Nursing was recognized for its sustained efforts to create environments that promote student learning and professional development. The Indiana University School of Nursing was acknowledged for its continuous efforts to promote the pedagogical expertise of faculty. And for the first time, Center of Excellence designation was awarded to a school for sustained efforts to advance the science of nursing education. The recipient in this category was the Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing. NLN president Toni Bargagliotti and NLN CEO Ruth Corcoran presented each school with a framed certificate, and all full-time faculty at each school received a Center of Excellence School pin.
 
Student Category


The University of Oklahoma College of Nursing builds its teaching/learning environment on what faculty refer to as "the four Cs": caring, critical thinking, communication, and citizenship. These elements are evident in both the baccalaureate and master's programs, as faculty provide flexibility and choice in order to empower the more than 1,000 nursing students to individualize their learning, develop creativity, and assume responsibility for providing leadership in nursing and health care. Students at the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing are actively engaged in the community through extensive and innovative service-based learning activities. As a leader in online distance education, the school brings together a diverse group of learners through its outreach to students both in and out of state. This student diversity, the community outreach efforts, and the strong partnerships with a wide range of community agencies are effective in developing what the College of Nursing refers to as "the next generation of health care leaders." The expressed vision of the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing is excellence in nursing; its tagline is "Sooner Nursing: Integrity, Compassion, Excellence." It is evident that the faculty live these concepts as they and students engage as active partners in the academic enterprise. This is a primary reason why the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing has been named an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.
 

Faculty Category

There is no question that the Indiana University School of Nursing is most deserving of recognition as a Center of Excellence for its sustained efforts related to advancing the pedagogical expertise of faculty. The more than 100 full-time faculty are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in developing creative, interactive pedagogies that promote excellence in nursing education, including web-based learning, problem-based learning, narrative pedagogy, and use of simulation technology. Recognizing that nurse educators must be involved in life-long learning and development, the IU School of Nursing faculty have created a series of online nurse educator courses designed to improve educator competencies. Faculty at the school benefit from these courses, as does a global audience of nurse educators. In addition, there is widespread mentoring among faculty, extensive support for participation in conferences and workshops related to teaching and learning, and dialogue with experts who are brought to campus to discuss innovations in teaching and new directions for nursing education. The faculty are actively engaged in creating a preferred future for nursing education, and many are recognized as leaders in the field. As the result of a clear plan for ongoing faculty development, the Indiana University School of Nursing has developed an empowering, collaborative, and creative learning environment for both students and faculty. And despite this being a major research institution, there is enormous support for the scholarship of teaching and recognition of teaching excellence as a means by which faculty can achieve promotion and tenure. Most recently, the School of Nursing implemented the Center for Excellence in Nursing Education research to facilitate the development of evidence-based teaching practices and the pedagogical research skills of faculty. The Indiana University School of Nursing is seen as a model for excellence related to promoting the pedagogical expertise of faculty, and the National League for Nursing is honored to name it a Center of Excellence.  
 
Science of Nursing Education Category


Blessing-Rieman is a small school that offers a baccalaureate program. It enrolls approximately 300 nursing students who are taught by 14 full-time faculty. And it is not a research institution. Yet these 14 faculty have created an environment where teaching, evaluation, and other educational practices are evidence-based and where all faculty are contributing to the advancement of the science of nursing education. For more than five years, the faculty have participated in a national research study using narrative pedagogy. As a result of this participation, they have changed the way they teach, the way they relate to and interact with students, the structures and processes that are in place for "getting the work done," and the value they place on evidence-based teaching practices. Faculty and students interact in an environment where the following collective values are evident: professional and scholarly development, safe risk-taking, experimentation, putting energies into problem solving rather than blaming, respecting and helping one another, and celebrating with one another. Faculty and students alike approach clinical and learning situations with a spirit of inquiry, and they collaborate with each other - as well as with alumni and community leaders - to create a professional culture that supports the use and conduct of research and makes research real for students. This environment is open to community-reflective scholarship, supports diverse research methodologies, and eagerly embraces evidence-based change that continually raises the quality of education. While many may assume that recognition for contributions related to scholarship would be given to nursing schools housed in research institutions where there is a large cadre of researchers with extensive external funding, the Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing challenges those assumptions. The National League for Nursing is honored to recognize the Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing for its sustained achievements in creating environments that advance the science of nursing education, and we are pleased to name it as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.
 

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