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College of Nursing designated national Center of Excellence

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Sept. 25, 2008)   —   East Carolina University's College of Nursing has been designated a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing.

Acting Dean Sylvia Brown accepted the award for the college Sept. 20 during the National League for Nursing's Education Summit in San Antonio. ECU was one of six schools to receive the prestigious designation for 2008-2011. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro also received distinction.

The ECU College of Nursing was lauded for creating environments that promote student learning and professional development, one of several criteria used to evaluate candidates.

"In everything we do, through all interactions with patients and in our endeavors to contribute to health care quality, East Carolina University College of Nursing seeks to exceed expectations and achieve excellence not just for the accolade of a job well done, but because the health of our constituents depends on our steadfast dedication to excellence," said Brown.

ECU faculty and staff serving on a task force to obtain designation was chair Mary Holland, Robin Webb Corbett, Frances Eason, Laurie Evans, Laura Gantt, Mary K. Kirkpatrick, Therese Lawler, Linda Mayne, Diane Marshburn, Maura S. McAuliffe and Annette Peery.

Since 2004, the National League for Nursing has invited nursing schools and colleges to apply based on their ability to demonstrate sustained excellence in faculty development, nursing education research or student learning and professional development. Schools must show a commitment to continuous quality improvement.

"The NLN is proud to recognize those schools whose faculty is doing the outstanding work that sets them apart from others," said Dr. Beverly Malone, NLN chief executive officer. "By publicly acknowledging these best academic practices, we hope to set the bar higher in nursing programs across the board so that those entering the profession will have the best tools available to meet the challenges of a diverse, ever-changing health care environment."

As a designee, ECU will help mentor other schools seeking distinction. "Through the Centers of Excellence designation, nursing's most exciting programs are made known to the entire academic community and thus able to inspire other schools to strive for excellence," said Dr. Elaine Tagliareni, NLN president.

The ECU College of Nursing was established in 1959, the oldest in the health sciences division, and has an enrollment of 1,202 students in baccalaureate, master's and doctoral nursing programs. It is the largest producer of new nursing graduates in the state and offers the only nurse midwifery plan of study and alternate entry MSN option for non-nursing bachelor degree holders in the state.

The college is known for innovative online outreach efforts designed to increase access to education in rural areas. It serves as a center of excellence for leadership in nursing, professional nursing education, research, service and faculty practice in eastern North Carolina. The college offers program options for registered nurses and post-master's students to advance their education. For more information, visit


Contact: Crystal Baity | 252-744-2481