School of Nursing Earns Second NLN Center of Excellence Designation

At the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing, the faculty’s shared vision is to create leaders who excel in the art and science of nursing. For their efforts, they have been recognized as maintaining the highest level of pedagogical expertise.

Faculty member Kendra Barrier presenting a lecture to a theater full of nursing students.

Kendra Barrier, Assistant Dean for Student Services and Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing, led a lecture.

The National League for Nursing’s Center of Excellence in Nursing Education designation is designed for schools of nursing and health care organizations that have achieved a level of excellence in one of four areas through outstanding innovations, commitment and sustainability of that excellence. For the second time, the School of Nursing has received the four-year “Creating Environments That Promote the Pedagogical Expertise of Faculty” Center of Excellence designation.

“This honor recognizes that the School of Nursing and its faculty are committed to sustained educational excellence and innovative pedagogical initiatives that fuel world-class learning for students and educators alike,” says Jennifer B. Martin, DNP, CRNA, Instructor of Clinical Nursing, Nurse Anesthesia. Dr. Martin was appointed by the dean to lead the writing team for the application. She worked alongside five other faculty members from the undergraduate and graduate programs within the School of Nursing.

“Our faculty development program is a rigorous and innovative one that begins with an onboarding process to have our new faculty welcomed into the culture of engagement. Our program supports our faculty through a formal mentorship program and multiple development offerings throughout the year,” she explains.

One recent development offering was a two-day workshop featuring a national pedagogical expert. One day focused on graduate student learning and how their needs might be different than those of undergraduate students, due to their age, family situations and experience at the bedside. The other was about student-teacher relationships and how they need to be nurtured in the time of social media.

Evidence of a Meaningful Mission

Dr. Martin says being recognized as a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing sheds a national spotlight on the school, showing that faculty are developed and encouraged to be role models of visionary leadership for students. The designation also highlights that the School of Nursing provides “environments of inclusive excellence that nurture the next generation of a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community.”

“Going into our fifth year, and second cycle, of this designation is even more meaningful than when we first received it because it shows our initiatives have been meaningful and sustainable and have really great outcomes.”

Jennifer B. Martin, DNP, CRN

“Going into our fifth year, and second cycle, of this designation is even more meaningful than when we first received it because it shows our initiatives have been meaningful and sustainable and have really great outcomes,” she explains. “And the COE designations are pretty clear-cut. Schools need measurable outcomes to prove they’re making a difference – like how many publications have come out of a faculty mentoring program.”

Dr. Martin says one of the most difficult aspects of putting the School of Nursing’s application together was deciding which of their many initiatives to include as examples. The writing team had to provide evidence and outcomes that the faculty promotes excellence in teaching, student advisement and curriculum development.

Demonstrating a Commitment to Excellence

The LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing is the only school of nursing in Louisiana housed within an academic health sciences center environment that consistently graduates leaders who exemplify the art and science of nursing. The faculty builds on more than 85 years of excellence to prepare nurses for the workforce as nurse generalists, advanced practice nurses in nine roles and populations, nurse scientists, nurse scholars, nurse educators and nurse executives actively engaged in leadership on the state, regional and national levels.

Faculty and staff are dedicated to excellence within an organizational culture that embraces diversity, inclusivity and engagement, while promoting a growth mindset, emotional intelligence, grit and resilience in their students.

Dr. Martin says the school’s pedagogical expertise is evidenced by interprofessional education experiences that include allied health, medical and dental disciplines; simulation-based learning; mentoring of undergraduate students in research; systematic reviews that impact health care systems through policy development and evidence-based practice changes; and its move from an advising to coaching model to increase student success.

“The National League for Nursing is the nation’s foremost organization for nursing faculty and leaders in nursing education,” she says. “The Centers of Excellence program is a way to recognize schools that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and invested resources to distinguish themselves in a specific area related to nursing education. It is an honor that our nursing school is among the outstanding group of recipients of this designation.”

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