School of Nursing Named National Center for Excellence in Nursing Education

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The National League of Nurses has selected the UNC Charlotte School of Nursing as a 2016 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.

The School of Nursing received the designation for creating environments that enhance student learning and professional development. The NLN Center of Excellence (COE) in Nursing Education designation is designed for schools of nursing and health care organizations that have achieved a level of excellence in a specific area. Through public recognition and distinction, the program acknowledges the outstanding innovations, commitment, and sustainability of excellence these organizations convey. 

“The School of Nursing (SON) is known in the community for its strong academic programs, and for valuing excellence in practice, critical thinking, and scholarly inquiry,” faculty leaders said. “We pride ourselves on creating strong learning environments and developing instructional programs that are responsive to the changing health care needs of the community.”

The SON also noted its focus on promoting values-based and evidence-based education, research, and practice, along with the flexible curricula of the RN-BSN program and online learning tools.

Quality of faculty is also a key criterion for the award.

“I appreciate the guidance and lessons I learned from a great group of people who went the extra mile to provide a wonderful education.  I would like to offer my appreciation for allowing me to be a student here and graduate from a wonderful program,” said Dianne Earnhardt, a 2015 graduate of the Dual DNP program.

Fifteen nursing programs in schools and in hospitals were recognized as Centers of Excellence this year.

 “Centers of Excellence raise the bar for all nursing programs by serving as role models of visionary leadership and inclusive excellence that nurture the next generation of nurses,” said NLN CEO Beverly Malone. 

A research brief in the September-October edition of Nursing Education Perspectives, “Intersection of Quality and Excellence: Characteristics of Redesignated NLN Centers of Excellence” examines strategies and resources utilized by six schools that have had repeated success. The article demonstrates how these COEs have sustained environments that enhance student learning and professional development. 

NLN Centers of Excellence are expected to exemplify the League’s core values: caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence. COE faculty bear a responsibility to share their experience, knowledge, and wisdom for the benefit of everyone in nursing education. They are expected to provide guidance and be available as sounding boards to other nursing programs that aim to achieve COE status. 

The first designations were awarded schools of nursing in 2004 and the first designations for health care organizations were awarded in 2012. Currently, 56 institutions hold the NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education designation.


by: Wills Citty

Nursing Simulation Lab