Nursing program named Center of Excellence


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FMU’s Department of Nursing received recognition as one of the region’s only Center of Excellence in nursing. This is the third Center of Excellence on campus.

FMU’s Department of Nursing was among 15 new departments to receive national recognition for being named a Center of Excellence, making it the second nursing program to receive this honor in South Carolina.

FMU’s recognition as a Center of Excellence by the National League of Nursing (NLN) was specifically for “promoting the pedagogical expertise of faculty.” Only seven other schools have been acknowledged in this area, including Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans.

According to Dr. Karen Gittings, chair of the nursing department, the department applied for this award.

“We basically had to write a self-report demonstrating excellence in six criterion,” Gittings said. “Our report was peer reviewed by a board of reviewers at the NLN, resulting in the award designation.”

FMU President Luther Carter said that this designated recognition as a National League of Nursing Center of Excellence is a prestigious distinction for the program and for FMU.

“It recognizes, I think, not just academic achievement but clinical achievement,” Carter said. “It also, I think, underscores the hard work they have done across the community establishing their reputation as being extraordinary health givers. I am very, very proud of what they have done and how they have done it.”

Carter said the students also played an important role in the award.

“This is an achievement for the entire department,” Carter said. “Every faculty member over there and every student in that department should take enormous pride in this achievement because this essentially represents their success.”

Gittings said the award will show future students how celebrated the program is.

“This designation lets current and potential new students know that the nursing programs at FMU are of high quality and the faculty are dedicated to excellence and the success of our students,” Gittings said.

The Department of Nursing being named a Center of Excellence also impacted the way nursing students view the education they are receiving from FMU.

“By attending a BSN program that has been named a Center of Excellence, I not only believe that I am receiving a higher standard of education, but it has been shown by the National League of Nursing,” Zachary Greenwood, junior I nursing student said. “In a field of such high respect, graduating from an institution with not only a high reputation but also named a Center of Excellence will look promising to future graduate programs, employers, and others alike.”

According to Gittings, the NLN will host its annual Education Summit in Orlando, Fl. on Sept. 20, which will be where FMU is formally acknowledged as a Center of Excellence. Several nursing faculty will be attending the summit to receive the award.

The Department of Nursing now joins the other two centers of excellence on campus—the Center of Excellence for College and Career Readiness and the Center of Excellence for Teachers of Children of Poverty. However, the Department of Nursing is the first to be a nationally recognized Center of Excellence.