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About the NLN

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Nursing Education National League for Nursing - Excellence Initiatives

2008-2011 Centers of Excellence Designees

Duquesne University School of Nursing

Duquesne University’s School of Nursing is known to many because of its innovativeness, its excellence, and its exceptional dean. Through the efforts of 32 full-time faculty, more than 650 students enrolled in the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs offered at Duquesne University are challenged to think in new ways and prepared to provide leadership within their communities and the profession.

The School of Nursing has created an environment that enhances student learning and professional development through its commitment to the institutional mission to “serve God through serving students.” This environment is marked by a pioneering spirit for educational innovation and supported by a strong, collective vision of the faculty to meet the learning needs of each student.

Duquesne’s School of Nursing offered the first on-line PhD program in the nation … a program that proudly reports high graduation rates and strong performance from graduates. The community-based undergraduate curriculum is responsive to the health care needs of the region and employment trends for nurses. And the on-line educational programming offered to students epitomizes the mantra of “distance education with no distance between us.”

As the first academic institution to fully operationalize the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ Synergy Model of Patient Care as an organizing framework for its curricula, the School of Nursing at Duquesne University empowers students and faculty to co-create communities of practice and communities of learning. Both groups are involved extensively in collaborative partnerships with clinical colleagues and local neighborhoods, and all are engaged equally in a commitment to lifelong learning and high quality care.

In recognition of its innovation in curriculum design … its creative initiatives in clinical simulations, assessment and concept mapping … its engagement of students in research efforts to standardize nursing language … and its use of outcome date to confirm that educational technologies are being leveraged effectively in on-line learning for students across generations, cultures and learning styles … For all of these things and more, the NLN is proud to name the Duquesne University School as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education for Creating Environments that Promote Student Learning and Professional Development.

East Carolina University College of Nursing

In a university of approximately 27,000, the more-than-100 faculty in the College of Nursing at East Carolina University take on the challenge of educating nearly 1,200 students through its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs … and they meet that challenge with creativity, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to students. As the school that graduates more new nurses than any other school in North Carolina … and that is part of a comprehensive health sciences division with the School of Medicine, College of Allied Health Sciences, and School of Dentistry … East Carolina University’s School of Nursing is a powerful force in driving innovation and excellence in nursing education.

The school offers distance education graduate programs to more than 550 individuals and is committed to service-through-education opportunities to these and all professional nurses through regional partnerships, innovative learner-centered pedagogies, and creative use of technology. This active engagement of students and faculty in their communities serves to enhance student learning and professional development, as well as advance the profession.

Faculty are encouraged and supported to develop new pedagogies that create and sustain dynamic learning environments, and they are supported to continually develop their pedagogical expertise in order to create exceptional learning experiences for students. The College boasts a total of eight faculty who are certified nurse educators, as well as two Fellows in the NLN’s Academy of Nursing Education. In addition, the College is the home of the East Carolina Center for Nursing Leadership, and students are involved in programs that support the mission of this Center to mobilize nurses to be effective partners and leaders in creating healthier communities in eastern North Carolina.

It is clear that the faculty of the East Carolina University School of Nursing have successfully created environments that Promote Student Learning and Professional Development, and the National League for Nursing is most pleased to designate them as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education for these exceptional accomplishments.

Excelsior College of Nursing

It is with great pleasure that the National League for Nursing award continuing designation as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education to the Excelsior College School of Nursing. Since receiving initial designation in 2005 for their excellent work in Creating Environments that Promote Student Learning and Professional Development, the students and faculty in this school have sustained and, indeed, enhanced excellence.

Guided by a collective vision of making an exceptional nursing program available to nurses all over the country, the Excelsior College School of Nursing was and continues to be a pioneer in distance education. They offer associate degree, RN-to-BS, RN-to-MS, and master’s programs to more than twenty thousand individuals and continue to document great success preparing those individuals for roles as bedside clinicians, clinical systems managers, nurse informaticists, and nurse educators.

The non-traditional learners who enroll at the Excelsior College School of Nursing come from diverse backgrounds and often live at enormous distances from the school and from one another. They challenge faculty to be creative in their approaches to teaching and learning, to design and implement a highly flexible curriculum, to understand and respond to individual learning needs, and to design experiences that develop self-awareness, facilitate respect, and demonstrate caring. Without question, faculty rise to that challenge again and again.

Pedagogical research is used to develop innovative program designs that prepare graduates to engage in high-quality, evidence-based practice, and curricula are flexible and dynamic in order to remain current and relevant, as well as empower students to pursue individual interests as they learn the practice of nursing.

Despite the challenge of distance, students are fully engaged in the school, and the school has received awards for the supportive environments it creates, including the 2006 and 2007 Best School Award from the American Assembly for Men in Nursing.

As the largest school of nursing educating nurses at a distance, Excelsior College exemplifies the creativity of faculty, innovative ways to promote student learning and professional development, and leadership. It is with great pleasure that the National League for Nursing bestow upon the Excelsior College School of Nursing the continued privilege of being a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education … a school that can be held up as exemplary.

Regis College School of Nursing and Health Professions

The Regis College School of Nursing is committed to cultural diversity, lifelong learning, empowerment, caring, and promoting the health of communities. Being ever mindful of the needs of today’s practice arena, the faculty are encouraged to step “out of the box” and modify, renew and create cutting edge curricula and programs that prepare graduates to meet the needs of the ever-changing health care delivery system and patient populations that present with increasingly complex needs.

Faculty facilitate the translation of academic principles into the practice environment through student-centered learning while encouraging students to be creative and attain their individual goals. An emphasis on helping students maximize their potential also was evident in the “story” told by this school in their application.

The nursing faculty at Regis College have a long history of using innovative, dynamic, and pedagogically-sound teaching methodologies to assure a relevant learning environment for the students enrolled in their associate degree, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs. It is clear that the School of Nursing at the Regis College School of Nursing has created and sustained an Environment that Promotes Student Learning and Professional Development, and the National League for Nursing is proud to award them designation as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.

Trinitas School of Nursing

The Trinitas Hospital School of Nursing -- a private, Catholic nursing school located in the city of Elizabeth, NJ -- draws students from diverse backgrounds. This past spring -- which is representative of all semesters -- a full 80% of the students came from ethnic minority groups … 40% were African-American, 25% were Hispanic, and 15% were Asian. Since 1947, the school has maintained a partnership with a local community college and in 1971 formed the Cooperative Nursing Program, through which students earn a diploma in nursing from Trinitas and an associate degree in science from the college.

For more than 37 years, the School has been the fiercest advocate for its widely diverse student body, and its historical commitment to open access and educational mobility has provided an opportunity for life-changing educational attainment and professional advancement for students within a changing urban environment. Simulation is integrated into all clinical nursing courses, and faculty are committed to implementing evidence-based teaching practices. The dean of the school was inducted in the inaugural group of Fellows in the NLN’s Academy of Nursing Education, and 100% of eligible faculty are CNE certified. Surely, these last two achievements speak to the faculty’s dedication to creating environments of excellence for its amazingly diverse student population.

Designation of the Trinitas Hospital School of Nursing as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education is awarded for their exceptional and sustained efforts to Create Environments that Promote Student Learning and Professional Development.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The faculty of the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are engaged in extensive activities that are designed to enhance the teaching abilities of faculty to most effectively meet student learning needs. These faculty have formulated a collective vision that promotes excellence in teaching, student advisement, and curriculum development, and they implement a systematic and rigorous program of internal faculty development workshops, consultants, peer review, mentoring, and attendance at numerous professional conferences to realize that vision.

Faculty interactions with students and professional colleagues are characterized by mutual respect, empowerment, collaboration, and trust … and they promote innovation. As a result of their concerted efforts to consistently develop the pedagogical expertise of faculty, this school enjoys exceptional rates of student and faculty satisfaction, a high rate of faculty retention, and a faculty collective that is highly productive in terms of publications, presentations, and research.

A student from UNCG was the winner of the NLN’s first Student Excellence Paper competition, launched in 2007, and faculty have received signature awards that recognize their commitment to excellence in nursing education, including an Excellence in Education Award from the National Conference of GNPs and Fellowship in the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. Since receiving initial designation as an NLN Center of Excellence in 2005, UNCG has served as a host school for others planning to apply for such designation and submitted a manuscript to Nursing Education Perspectives based on their experiences as a Center of Excellence.

Designation as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education was well deserved when it was bestowed on this school in 2005, and as a result of the sustained exceptional work of faculty in Creating Environments that Promote the Pedagogical Expertise of Faculty, the honor continues to be well deserved. We are inspired by the commitment to faculty, their efforts to advance excellence in nursing education, and their exemplary leadership in the field.

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