College of Nursing named Center of Excellence

Emily Mills

At a recent ceremony in Washington D.C., the National League of Nursing named Kent State University’s College of Nursing a Center of Excellence.

The college was honored in the category “Creating Environments that Advance the Science of Nursing Education” at the NLN’s Annual Education Summit. The title is a four-year designation.

“It’s an honor for the College of Nursing to receive this designation,” said Susan Stocker, interim dean of the College of Nursing. “It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of the faculty and staff.”

Eleven administration and faculty members attended the event, including Stocker and Tracey Motter, senior undergraduate program director for the College of Nursing.

The college was recognized for its accomplishments in furthering nursing education because it focuses heavily on evidence-based research, Motter said. This helps quantify research the college does so there is a balance between the science of nursing and the art of taking care of other people.

“In the past, nursing has made decisions about care or interventions based on what we’d always done or what we thought worked,” Motter said. “Evidence-based decisions take research pieces and look at what the results and patient outcomes are.”

She said this hard evidence encourages the perception of heath care workers as professionals, not just people who care for others.

“Evidence-based practice is what you believe to be true backed up by objective research, which helps nursing be viewed as a profession, not a technical skill,” Motter said.

Faculty and administrators decided to apply to become a Center of Excellence about a year ago at their winter retreat, Motter said.

They filled out questionnaires about their teaching methods. These methods had to meet certain criteria set out by the NLN.

Former dean of the College of Nursing Laura Dzurec headed a committee that met several times during the spring semester to organize the information received from the faculty and write the official application, Motter said.

The application was submitted April 1 and was reviewed by a panel of leaders from the NLN who are leaders in nursing education.

The College of Nursing received the news it had been named a Center of Excellence in late June or early July.

“It makes us very proud. We work very hard and have made a lot of accomplishments, and it’s nice to be recognized for all we’ve accomplished,” Motter said.

Stocker said the designation is an honor for students, faculty and staff that will lead to better educational opportunities for students.

“It will result in a quality education for the students of the College of Nursing,” Stocker said.

Similarly, Motter said the title will lead to better job opportunities for nursing students after they graduate.

“Our graduates are sought after in northeast Ohio. We provide 40 percent of the workforce for nursing (in northeast Ohio),” Motter said.

Kent State was one of nine schools in the nation to be named Centers of Excellence by the NLN’s Board of Governors. The other schools include Ball State University, Johns Hopkins University, Northeastern University, Saint Xavier University, the University of Kansas, Duke University, Villanova University and Widener University.

Contact Emily Mills at [email protected].