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National nursing group labels UL Lafayette as Center of Excellence

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has been named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.

UL Lafayette’s nursing program is among 17 to receive the designation this year. Honorees include colleges and universities as well as teaching hospitals and clinical sites.

“Designation as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education is acknowledgement of the long-standing excellence of the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral nursing programs at UL Lafayette,” said Dr. Melinda Oberleitner, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. 

“Recognition as a Center of Excellence is evidence of our commitment to sustained and substantive innovation in nursing education and positions the University among the nation’s elite nursing programs,” she added.

The National League for Nursing has offered its Center of Excellence stamp since 2004.

The 17 programs recognized this year fall into three categories: those that promote the pedagogical expertise of faculty; those that enhance student learning and professional development; and those that create workplace environments that promote the academic progression of nurses.

UL Lafayette’s nursing program was recognized for faculty teaching expertise. It shares the category with Chamberlain University in Illinois; Francis Marion University, South Carolina; Rutgers University, New Jersey; and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Honorees in the two remaining categories include Duquesne University, Pennsylvania; Texas A&M University; and the universities of Kentucky, Cincinnati and South Carolina.

Dr. Lisa Broussard is associate dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.

She noted that the University’s recognition as a Center of Excellence comes in 2020, the bicentennial of the birth of Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing. The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife to celebrate Nightingale’s legacy.

“It is truly an honor to join this group of prestigious nursing schools as a Center of Excellence designee. Our nursing programs have a long history of providing the best nursing education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and we are very excited to receive this recognition,” Broussard said.

UL Lafayette and other honorees will be recognized during the annual National League for Nursing Education Summit, which will be held virtually in September.

The league offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. It was founded in 1893.