Widener University

07/25/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/25/2017 12:30

National League for Nursing Names Widener University a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education

Founders Hall, home to the School of Nursing.

Chester, PA - The School of Nursing at Widener University is pleased to announce that it has again earned the National League of Nursing's prestigious designation as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education for 2017-2021.

Widener University is one of 16 schools that have achieved Center of Excellence designation in 2017. The School of Nursing received its first designation of a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing (NLN) in 2013. Widener University remains one of a handful of Center of Excellence designees with a focus on Advancing the Science of Nursing Education.

'The NLN is proud to recognize those schools and organizations that are doing the outstanding work that sets them apart from others,' said NLN president Dr. Anne Bavier. 'By publicly acknowledging these best practices,' added NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, 'we promote the preparation of a diverse, culturally competent nursing workforce to deliver safe, effective patient care in our complex, dynamic health care environment.'

The Center of Excellence program was inaugurated in 2004 and, with this year's awardees, there are now 62 schools and organizations that have attained Center of Excellence status. Schools of nursing apply for status based on demonstrated and sustained excellence in faculty development, nursing education research, or student learning and professional development. Applicants must also have a proven commitment to continuous quality improvement.

In keeping with the NLN mission to continually advance quality nursing education, throughout the four years that awardees carry the designation, they are expected to be available to other applicants seeking to move their own programs toward distinction.

'At Widener there is a strong focus on the practice and scholarship that are characteristic of teaching,' said Dr. Laura Dzurec, dean of the School of Nursing. 'This honor recognizes just that. We've built a culture where people want to learn and where students engage in cutting-edge practices that strengthen opportunities for learning, for scholarship, and for advancing practice.'

Widener University is one of very few schools nationally that encourages doctoral students to focus their dissertation research on the science of nursing education. The School of Nursing has maintained this emphasis since inception of the research doctorate in1983. More than 200 doctoral-prepared nurses have graduated from the program, which transitioned from a Doctor of Nursing Science degree to a PhD in 2008. The School of Nursing also offers master of science degrees in nursing across multiple concentrations, as well as a doctorate of nursing practice degree and several accelerated options for students seeking doctoral preparation.

'It's because of our faculty's commitment to, first, supporting the advances in the science of nursing education and, second, exposing students to high-impact educational practices that our graduates are prepared to enhance the well-being of people around the world,' Dzurec said.

Widener's incoming undergraduate nursing classes have been setting record-breaking sizes. As the program continues to grow, Dzurec is confident faculty will continue to meet the needs of the students while retaining its excellent rating.

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and health care organizations and agencies.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises seven schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. Visit the university website,