October 7, 2005

Nursing School Named One of Four 'Centers of Excellence' in Nation

"...The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the promotion of excellence in nursing education. The Samford program was cited for its demonstrated excellence in 'Creating Environments that Promote Student Learning and Professional Development.' It will carry the Center of Excellence designation for three years..."

nursing studentby Mary Wimberley

Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing has been named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing. The school was one of four nursing programs in the nation to receive the designation during the NLN's annual Education Summit in Baltimore, Md., on Saturday (OCT. 1).

The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the promotion of excellence in nursing education. The Samford program was cited for its demonstrated excellence in "Creating Environments that Promote Student Learning and Professional Development." It will carry the Center of Excellence designation for three years.

According to NLN officials, Samford's "inventive program is distinguished by a stellar level of student-faculty collaboration, a faculty that encourages and guides students to deliver 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."

Samford nursing dean Nena Sanders accepted the award. Samford Provost Dr. Brad Creed and 14 nursing faculty members also traveled to Baltimore for the awards presentation. "This designation validates the quality of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing's faculty and their dedication to student learning," said Dr. Sanders. "In addition, it highlights the outstanding accomplishments of our students and their commitment to learning and professional development."

Features the Samford nursing faculty included in material submitted to NLN judges pointed to the nursing school's outstanding program of undergraduate and graduate research, innovative/creative teaching strategies and program designs, faculty engagement in student learning, service learning, portfolio development and Capstone Projects for all undergraduate and graduate students. Steps in the competitive process also included extensive documentation of programs, activities, policies and initiatives, and a site visit by an NLN representative.

"This was a year-long process," said Dr. Sanders, who learned several weeks ago that the award would come Samford's way, but could not share the news publicly until the formal presentation at the national meeting. She could, however, tell her 31-member nursing faculty, who celebrated when they held their back-to-school faculty meeting in late August.

The nursing school, founded in 1922 by the Birmingham Baptist Association as a Diploma School of Nursing, transferred to Samford in 1973 and began offering associate and baccalaureate degrees in nursing. It now also offers a master of science in nursing degree, and nurse anesthesia and post-master's programs. In 1955, it became the first nursing program in Alabama to achieve accreditation by the National League for Nursing.

The NLN also awarded Center of Excellence designations to nursing schools at Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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