The Southeastern Louisiana University Doctor of Nursing Practice Program has been recognized by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation as the Nursing School of the Year in Advanced Practice. The award recognizes a school of nursing offering formal education for registered nurses seeking a graduate degree for advanced clinical practice roles, as well as nursing administration, nursing education and research.

This is the second time Southeastern has been recognized with a Nightingale Award for an advance practice program, with the master’s program being recognized as program of the year in 2013. Also, Southeastern’s undergraduate nursing program has been recognized with the Nightingale Award three times.

The competition is evaluated by a panel of out-of-state judges who review the nominations submitted by nursing programs throughout the state. The Nightingale Awards are the foundation’s highest recognition for quality, service, commitment and excellence among Louisiana registered nurses.

Ann Carruth, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, said nursing programs are evaluated for the award by a wide range of criteria, including accreditation status, innovations in education and teaching, nursing examination passage rate, and comments solicited from graduates, faculty and area employers.

Above image, from left: Instructor of Nursing Lana Auzenne, Associate Professor of Nursing Donna Coffey, School of Nursing Department Head Ken Tillman, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Ann Carruth, Associate Professor of Nursing Eileen Creel, retired Professor of Nursing Lorinda Sealey, Assistant Professor of Nursing Del Mars, and Southeastern nursing alumna Heidi Roshto

Southeastern’s program is an academic partnership between Southeastern and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette that offers Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees. The partnership allows Southeastern and UL Lafayette the opportunity to provide stand-alone, but mutually supportive DNP programs to leverage teaching and learning resources, Carruth explained. Building on the strengths of its Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredited baccalaureate and master’s programs, Southeastern offers a post-masters DNP program seeking qualified advanced practice nurses and nurse executives.

“I am very proud of our DNP program. Students who are administrators and advanced practitioners create a two year-long project, partnering with an organization to implement policy, evaluate quality, translate research and best evidence. These projects require tremendous organizational commitment and multidisciplinary team effort,” Carruth said.

“In the end, students document data-driven analysis and evaluation of the project. We’ve had five cohorts graduate from our program. They have impacted health care throughout southeast Louisiana and beyond. It is an honor to be a dean working with such talented, dedicated faculty and students.”

The nursing school also operates a completely online RN to BS degree program that allows registered nurses with an associate’s degree or nursing diploma to complete courses leading to a bachelor of science degree.

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