Centers of Excellence in Nursing EducationTM
|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.
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
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,
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!!!
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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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2005 Designees |
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