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Kent State’s College of Nursing Named Center of Excellence by National League of Nursing

Posted Aug. 12, 2013
enter photo description
Students from Kent State University’s College of Nursing
participate in a yoga session at the Student Recreation
and Wellness Center as part of the “Care for the Caregiver”
program. The “Care of the Caregiver” program focuses on
self-care of nurses and its professional value of caring for
the self in their education.

Kent State University’s College of Nursing is one of nine schools of nursing named National League of Nursing (NLN) Centers of Excellence by the organization’s Board of Governors. Six of the nine honored are new designations in their respective categories of excellence. All Centers of Excellence are selected by competitive applications, which are reviewed by a panel of leaders in nursing education. Kent State is being acknowledged as a Center of Excellence in the category “Creating Environments that Advance the Science of Nursing Education.”

“Developing the application for the Center of Excellence has prepared us as a faculty to focus our efforts on the science behind nursing education,” says Laura Dzurec, Ph.D., immediate past dean of Kent State’s College of Nursing. “Our particular focus has been examining the benefits of self-care for students and for faculty, and we have enjoyed working toward strengthening the learning community within the College of Nursing. We truly believe that everyone within the College of Nursing – students and faculty alike – will benefit from the positive atmosphere that results as we strengthen self-care concepts and work toward an ever more just culture.”

As in previous years, Centers of Excellence will be formally recognized at the NLN’s Annual Education Summit during the NLN Banquet. This year’s ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 20, and follows the President’s Reception. Deans and other top administrators, faculty and healthcare executives will be in attendance for this auspicious occasion.

“We are proud to offer this elite status to deserving nursing education programs and organizations that model excellence in their teaching/learning strategies and implementation; initiatives that nurture professional development; rigorous scholarship; and promotion of academic progression for lifelong learning,” says NLN President Judith Halstead, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, ANEF. “Their visionary leadership sets the standard for nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the nation’s health, guided by the core values of caring, integrity, diversity and excellence.”

Initial and second Center of Excellence designations are granted for a four-year period; a five-year term accompanies a third Center of Excellence designation. Throughout the four or more years that institutions carry the Center of Excellence designation, all serve as advisers and sounding boards to others that seek Center of Excellence status.

“This designation is an important step for us in helping us strengthen our identity as pioneers in self-care in nursing curricula,” Dzurec says.

“The NLN considers COEs (Centers of Excellence) to be standard bearers of excellence, role models whose faculty, deans and staff are available to share expertise, insight, knowledge and experience to lift the entire nursing community to a higher level of achievement,” says Beverly Malone, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, CEO of the NLN. “I look forward to acknowledging their impressive achievements at the summit in September.”

Among this year’s Centers of Excellence are:
Creating Environments that Enhance Student Learning and Professional Development

  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) – continuing designation
  • Northeastern University (Boston)
  • Saint Xavier (Chicago) – continuing designation
  • University of Kansas (Kansas City, Kan.)

Creating Environments that Promote the Pedagogical Expertise of Faculty

  • Duke University (Durham, N.C.)

Creating Environments that Advance the Science of Nursing Education

  • Kent State University (Kent, Ohio)
  • Villanova University (Philadelphia) – continuing designation
  • Widener University (Chester, Pa.)

Creating Workplace Environments that Promote Academic Progression of Nurses

  • Norton Healthcare (Louisville, Ky.)

Since 2004, the NLN has issued an annual invitation to nursing schools to apply for Center of Excellence status. Applicants are then judged on their ability to demonstrate in concrete, measurable terms sustained excellence in faculty development, nursing education research, or student learning and professional development. Schools, and now with the new category, healthcare organizations, must also have a proven commitment to continuous quality improvement. There are now a total of 29 NLN Centers of Excellence, 25 schools of nursing that represent the spectrum of higher education and four healthcare organizations.

For more information about Kent State’s College of Nursing, visit www.kent.edu/nursing.