| Dear Colleague,
It's been 10 years - imagine that! We introduced the first cohort of NLN Centers of Excellence in Nursing Education at our Education Summit 2004 in Orlando. And the three schools of nursing in that inaugural group still proudly use the designation COE.
What's remarkable about that first cohort is its diversity.Villanova University College of Nursing offers BSN, master's, and doctoral programs that reflect Catholic Augustinian values. Community College of Philadelphia is the largest degree-granting institution in one of America's oldest cities. And the University of South Dakota's AD program was founded in response to the health care needs of the rural and often isolated communities in this western state.
I mention this now because I continue to be stunned by the diversity of nursing education in our great country and proud of the excellence of so many of our programs. Prospective nursing students can look to many ways to enter our profession and be assured of a top-notch education.
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When we gather at this year's Summit for the NLN Banquet (September 19 in Phoenix), we will formally introduce six new Centers of Excellence, bringing the total to 35. Once again, we will honor nursing programs, large and small, from different areas of the country, that are united by excellence.
We will recognize Adelphi University of Garden City, NY, for creating environments that advance the science of nursing education. And we will recognize five programs for creating environments that enhance student learning and professional development: Clemson University, SC; Ohio State University, Columbus; Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing, NY, NY; Purdue University Calumet, IN, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock. Plus, we will recognize the winner of the Student Excellence Paper Competition: Danielle Rourke from Duke University, whose paper is entitled "Contributing a Verse to Excellence."
In 2011, when Collin College was recognized as a COE, we were told by Donna Hatch, the dean of nursing, that "a full on celebration occurred". all of the Board of Trustees [were] in attendance along with senators and representatives. All of the nursing faculty were awarded lab coats and scrubs with their names embroidered with the NLN Center of Excellence logo and called individually to be presented at the reception."
Best of all, Dean Hatch told us, "The nursing program started seeing an increase in student applications, and an increase in faculty applications. Because we were able to admit the best students, our board results continued to be above national and state standards." Now the school of nursing is expanding, and ground has broken on a new building: "If we had not received our designation, none of this would have been possible."
At our Summit in 2015 in Las Vegas, wouldn't you like to come to the podium to represent your school as an NLN Center of Excellence? The time to think about that is now, as we are accepting initial applications through October 15. Visit our website and read all about the process of becoming a COE. And then scan the list of current and past COEs to see how diverse they really are.
You will notice that we also recognize health care institutions. Schools of nursing cannot do it alone. All require clinical placement opportunities within the community, and for many schools of nursing, partnerships are key. If your nursing program works closely with a health care institution to advance academic progression, please pass the information about our COE program along. Our goal is to highlight partnership models that support the development of an educated and diverse nursing workforce. In 2015, I hope to stand on the stage at the Summit with your health care organization partner.
One of the pitfalls of having our amazing Summit in September is that it is possible to overlook the other faculty development programs we offer. They are equally superb â€“ just smaller. In fact, some are very, very small, such as our intimate Scholarly Writing Retreats. The next is scheduled for November 7-9, and is limited to 10 participants. If you want to take advantage of this amazing opportunity for professional growth, you must apply by August 8.
Also space-limited are our Leadership Institute programs, with applications due September 30. The institute brings together world-class faculty and dynamic curricula in three areas:
- LEAD, for educators who have experienced a rapid transition to a leadership position or aspire to lead
- Leadership Development Program for Simulation Educators
- Senior Deans and Directors Leadership Program
Then, of course, we have our NLN/Elsevier Technology Conference coming up October 24-26 in Nashville, and the 2015 NLN Leadership Conference, way over the horizon, February 5-7 in San Antonio. That's lots to look forward to. I know, it's July, and we want to get some sun. But isn't it great that the NLN is planning so much to look forward to?
Now I have some exciting news to report. Dr. Donna Gage, a certified nurse practitioner with a specialty in women's health, has been appointed chief nursing officer for the Veterans Health Administration. Dr. Gage has had a long career as a nurse leader, most recently with BMC Associates, where she served as a consultant and mediator to leaders in health care management, governance, and labor-management relations. Excellence in the care of our veterans is of the greatest importance. I know we all wish Dr. Donna Gage success in her new position.
And I must close with a note of sadness. Tish Hess, our director of membership and recognition programs, which include our COE program, will be leaving us to return to her beloved practice as a school health nurse, and we will truly miss her. Many of the successes I talk about in the Member Update - for example, our 26 affiliated Constituent Leagues -“ are due to Tish's organizational and leadership skills, her graciously warm people skills, and her commitment to excellence and the NLN. Our loss is our schoolchildren's gain. Please join me in giving a virtual standing ovation to our friend and colleague, Tish Hess.
All best wishes,
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer