Nursing faculty uses manikin to teach students

School of Nursing Named NLN Center of Excellence

August 5, 2021 - The School of Nursing in the College of Health and Human Services at UNC Wilmington has been named a 2021 National League for Nursing (NLN) Centers of Excellence.

Each year, the NLN selects schools of nursing and health care organizations as its Center of Excellence honorees based on demonstrated excellence in a specific area. UNC Wilmington’s program was one of 23 programs selected this year and will receive formal recognition for this prestigious designation at the organization’s 2021 NLN Education Summit at the Honors Convocation on September 25. The School of Nursing was one of six schools recognized in the area of Promote the Pedagogical Expertise of Faculty. “This recognition of Center of Excellence validates our sustained, innovative, and evidence-based contributions to nursing education, provides us with a platform for sharing our expertise and accomplishments with other schools and programs, and advances excellence in nursing education at the national level,” said School of Nursing Director and Irwin Belk Distinguished Professor Linda Haddad.

The School of Nursing offers students innovative programs for students at every stage of their career – from an undergraduate degree in nursing or clinical research, a RN looking to advance in their career, or an advanced practice nurse or clinical researcher returning to gain advanced credentialing. State-of-the-art simulation labs provide students with realistic simulation technology across nursing specialties and offers opportunities to engage in interprofessional simulations with different disciplines and community partners. “Today, more than 4,000 nurses who have graduated from UNCW School of Nursing programs are impacting the lives of others throughout North Carolina, the United States and the world,” Haddad says.

“The importance of nurses to the health of our communities is even more critical, as evidenced by the coronavirus pandemic. This national recognition for excellence in preparing students to be leaders in nursing and health care is a fitting accomplishment for the School of Nursing,” said College of Health and Human Services Dean Charlie Hardy. “A special congratulations goes to Dr. Elizabeth Gazza, associate director for faculty and staff development, who spearheaded this effort with help from Drs. Denise Isibel. April Matthias, Brandy Mechling, Charlotte Thompson, and Stephanie Turrise.”

Each year since 2004, the NLN has invited nursing schools to apply to become a Center of Excellence, based on their ability to demonstrate in concrete, measurable terms sustained excellence in faculty development, nursing education research, or student learning and professional development. Currently, 79 institutions hold the NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education designation. UNC Wilmington’s designation as a Center of Excellence lasts through 2025.

NLN President and CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FANN, said, “National League for Nursing 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.”