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Results In From Landmark Nurse Educator Certification Exam



December 20, 2005 — New York, NY— In a critical step for the nursing education academic community, the National League for Nursing awarded the first designations as Certified Nurse Educator (CNECM) to academic nurse educators who successfully completed a rigorous examination administered by the NLN. Said CEO Dr. Ruth Corcoran, “Through the certification program, we have raised the visibility and status of the academic nurse educator role as an advanced professional practice discipline with a defined practice setting.”

Dean of the Duquesne University School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, Eileen Zungolo is proud to be able to add CNE to her already impressive list of credentials. Dr. Zungolo believes “that the art of teaching is science unto itself. Education is a specialty. Just because someone has advanced education and preparation in nursing, it does not automatically mean that one possesses the skill, talent, and knowledge base required to transmit that information into the classroom and clinical area.”

Two hundred and six candidates took the exam, 174 passed. Representing 45 states and the District of Columbia, these newly certified faculty members embody the spectrum of nurse educators in the US.

Forty-eight percent hold doctoral degrees; the rest, master’s degrees.

Fifty percent teach in baccalaureate or higher degree programs, 35 percent in associate degree programs, 9 percent in diploma programs, and less than 1 percent in practical nursing programs.

Almost three quarters hold the rank of assistant professor or higher: full professor – 25 percent; associate professor – 24 percent; and assistant professor – 25 percent.

Thirty-two percent have more than 20 years of experience as academic nurse educators.

Many of these faculty are projected to retire soon: 47 percent within next the 10 years; 72 percent within 15 years. “This is a matter of great concern,” pointed out Dr. Corcoran. “The number of qualified nurses available to teach future generations of RNs continues to decline. And as we recently learned from the NLN’s 2005 NNED© survey, there has been an 18 percent increase (to 147,000) in the number of qualified applications that schools of nursing have been forced to reject.”

Dr. Larry Eustace, chair of the Division of Nursing at the University of Arkansas found the exam to be “rigorous and worthy.” He took it because he wanted to establish his expertise as a nurse educator. “I wished they had this examination years ago. I think that in the future, not right now because it is too new, being certified as a nurse educator will lead to higher salaries and may be required for promotion and tenure,” he concluded.

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities with NLN experts and newly certified nurse faculty, or for more information, please contact NLN communications director Karen R. Klestzick at 212-812-0376,

The NLN advances quality nursing education that prepares the nursing workforce to meet the needs of diverse populations in an ever-changing health care environment.