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Villanova University College of Nursing Honored by National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellence

Announcement made at NLN's Annual Education Summit in Phoenix, Ariz.

The Villanova College of Nursing was selected as a Center of Excellence for creating environments that promote student learning and professional development

October 9, 2007

VILLANOVA, PA.— Citing the Villanova University College of Nursing’s inventive education opportunities, the National League for Nursing (NLN) once again designated the College as a Center of Excellence™ (COE) in Nursing Education. The announcement was made on September 29 at the NLN’s annual four-day Education Summit in Phoenix, Ariz. Villanova was one of four nursing schools at the conference to receive this prestigious designation, which identifies nursing schools of exceptional quality.

Villanova is among 11 schools named as Centers of Excellence by the NLN, the country’s oldest professional nursing organization with nursing education as its primary concern. The Villanova College of Nursing was one of three schools of nursing to receive the inaugural honor in 2004 (COE designation is a three-year recognition). After a rigorous review of Villanova’s 2007 application, the NLN Board of Governors chose to continue the College of Nursing’s designation as a Center of Excellence.

“The College of Nursing’s continuing designation as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing is symbolic of the dynamic quality education that our students receive,” explained Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor M. Louise Fitzpatrick, Ed.D., R.N., FAAN. “Equally important, it recognizes the stellar achievements of our graduates who distinguish us through their professional performance.”

The designation is separate from accreditation and identifies schools of exceptional quality. In pursuing Center of Excellence distinction, the College of Nursing successfully met the criteria set forth by the NLN which cited many of the College’s inventive education opportunities as leading to its success, including:

Through international experiences, students develop a global perspective and provide service to diverse cultures and underserved populations.

  • Close mentoring relationships between faculty and students allow both to influence the profession at regional and national levels.
  • Student learning is promoted through innovative, evidence-based teaching-learning experiences, all set in an environment that fosters trust and empowerment.
  • The College of Nursing demonstrated high standards and commitment to these ideals across its bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degree and continuing education programs.

The College of Nursing’s core values, strong advising system, faculty practice, research, student leadership cultivation, creative programs, local and international community involvement, service learning, and its distinguished alumni, faculty and students all reflect its more than 50 year commitment to nurturing a creative environment for student development. It continues to do so while construction on its new facility is underway on the central campus of Villanova University. By summer 2008, the $32 million, state-of-the-art facility will open in support of the education of the next generation of nurses, demonstrating the University’s commitment to nursing education as part of its institutional and social mission. This new building will support College initiatives including student learning in technology-driven clinical simulation labs that enhance the teaching and scholarship environment. Additionally, this environmentally-friendly building will provide space for University events.

The NLN designates Centers of Excellence based on school’s sustained excellence in promoting the pedagogical expertise of faculty, advancing the science of nursing education, or promoting student learning and professional development. They must also have a proven commitment to continuous quality improvement. In keeping with the NLN mission to continually advance excellent nursing education throughout the three years that schools carry the COE designation, they are expected to be available to other schools seeking to move their own programs toward distinction.

Villanova University is a co-educational Roman Catholic institution founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova Law School. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information see