Kent State’s College of Nursing Redesignated a Center of Excellence by National League for Nursing

From Touch Point Online Magazine, Summer 2022 – Vol. VI, Issue 2

For the third consecutive term, the National League for Nursing (NLN) has designated Kent State University’s College of Nursing as a Center of Excellence in the category of Advancing the Science of Nursing Education. This new cycle of designation will extend from 2022-2026.

As an R1 research university, Kent State is a leader in developing the science of nursing education through innovative nursing and interdisciplinary technologies, including mixed reality, haptics and simulation developing clinical judgment. This research addresses the transition to practice challenges for entry- and advanced-level students, prioritizing a culture of care with diversity, inclusivity and outreach. The college was among three universities to receive this particular designation.

“At Kent State’s College of Nursing, we live the core values of the NLN: outstanding care, integrity, diversity, inclusion and excellence in the classroom, clinicals and at the bedside,” said Versie Johnson-Mallard, Ph.D., RN, APRN, FAANP, FAAN, dean, professor and Henderson Memorial Endowed Chair of Kent State’s College of Nursing. “We continue to demonstrate a sense of belonging to our students, colleagues, staff and stakeholders.”

Kent State and its College of Nursing have developed a “sense of belonging” project focused on both social and community belonging. This program aims to provide support for first-generation students, students of color and others by providing opportunities to make connections with peers and meet the dean, associate dean and other faculty members. Additionally, Johnson-Mallard regularly engages with faculty to discuss strategies based on research and scholarship to enhance a sense of belonging in the classroom.

The college prioritizes preparing future nurses to provide care for diverse cultures. The Community Health course is taken at the end of the undergraduate curriculum where students demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of their nursing roles through evidence-based practices in their local community. Furthermore, education-abroad programs, including the Florence Summer Institute, Londonderry in Northern Ireland and Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, expand students’ worldviews and allow them to gain diverse perspectives on healthcare by examining the cultural, political and economic forces influencing healthcare, nursing needs and health disparities. 

“NLN Centers of Excellence help raise the bar for all nursing programs by role modeling visionary leadership and environments of inclusive excellence that nurture the next generation of a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community,” said NLN President and CEO Beverly Malone, Ph.D., RN, FANN.

Kent State’s College of Nursing is a recognized leader in nursing education. Faculty members have conducted research on innovative and emerging areas of educational priorities. Their contributions to advancing the science and practice of education have led to transformative strategies that influence student learning and student engagement. Likewise, faculty participation in national-level efforts have strengthened student engagement in nursing education with an emphasis on developing critical thinking transitioning to critical action.

“Having nearly completed my first year as the Kent State University College of Nursing dean, my heart overflows with joy as I have witnessed the pride our faculty and staff have for where they work,” Johnson-Mallard said. “This NLN continued designation is a testament to our collective greatness and the commitment we have for our students. Thank you, colleagues, for all you do that has made us a college of distinction.”

Kent State’s College of Nursing will be recognized at a formal ceremony as part of the 2022 NLN Education Summit that will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, in September.


About Kent State University’s College of Nursing

In existence for more than 50 years, the College of Nursing at Kent State University is one of the largest and most comprehensive nursing programs in the nation with nearly 16,000 alumni worldwide. As part of Kent State’s eight-campus system, the college provides nearly 3,000 nursing students courses of study annually at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels. To learn more about nursing programs at Kent State, please visit


About the National League for Nursing

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The National League for Nursing offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. Its members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and healthcare organizations and agencies. For more information about the National League for Nursing, visit

POSTED: Friday, July 29, 2022 11:03 AM
UPDATED: Friday, May 24, 2024 06:50 PM
Mariah Gibbons