Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director
Department of Public Relations
The University of North Florida’s School of Nursing has been recognized as a national academic leader by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing,
the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education.
UNF’s Community Nursing undergraduate program in the Brooks College of Health, celebrating its 25th anniversary, was designated as a best practice program by the AACN,
which represents more than725
member schools of nursing
at public and private universities as well as senior colleges nationwide.
The nursing program was selected due to its commitment to teaching students about the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals before and after a medical crisis.
“This recognition is a direct result of the commitment to the program by UNF President John Delaney and the hard work of Dr. Li Loriz, School of Nursing director, and the entire nursing faculty,” said Dr. Pam Chally, Brooks College of Health dean. “I’m very proud of the dedication of the faculty implementing the model. This approach sets our nursing students apart from others.”
UNF nursing students are assigned to a community “homebase” the first semester of the nursing program. In the community, students work with other nursing students to meet needs of the community. A unique aspect of the Community Nursing program is that it implements what community residents believe is necessary for their wellbeing. Students work in the same community during the entire nursing program, so they learn to collaborate, establish relationships and grow with the community as a team.
The School of Nursing’s evaluation of the community nursing program indicates that nursing students are better prepared to care for patients in and out of the hospital. They have gained a greater understanding of where patients come and go post-hospital discharge. In addition, UNF nursing students appreciate the challenges of underserved populations and value outcomes related to health promotion and community engagement.
Chally also credits the program’s assortment of community partnerships with the Sulzbacher Center, Mission House, Volunteers in Medicine and Pine Forest Community Center as helping to establish the Community Nursing program across the Northeast Florida region.
The process of building the School of Nursing into an academic leader began with a gradual revamping of the curriculum, which started about 10 years ago. Further support for the program came in
2005, when it was announced that the School of Nursing had been selected as UNF’s first Flagship Program.
The Flagship Program designation was established by Delaney to recognize programs that have track records of
excellence in the scholarly accomplishments of its faculty and offer tremendous hands-on and transformational learning environments for students. Since the initial selection of the Nursing Flagship, Coastal Biology, International Business, Transportation and Logistics, Nutrition and Dietetics and Music have been added to the Flagship ranks.
“The Flagship designation allowed us the time and resources to develop and fully implement this curriculum, which has been presented at international conferences with great interest,” said Dr. Li Loriz, School of Nursing director. “Being recognized as an example of best practices for a curriculum is the culmination of the efforts of the Brooks College during the past few years. It’s also the culmination of the purpose of the Flagship designation—to achieve programmatic excellence.”
The AACN is an educational, research, federal advocacy, data collection, publications, and special programs work to establish quality standards for nursing education; assist deans and directors to implement those standards; influence the nursing profession to improve health care; and promote public support for professional nursing education, research and practice.
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