SU College of Nursing in HBCU Awards spotlight

For the second time in two years, the Southern University Baton Rouge (SUBR) College of Nursing and Allied Health claimed a HBCU Award for “Best Nursing Program,” and Cheryl Taylor, chairperson, Graduate Nursing Programs, and director, Office of Nursing Research won the “Female Faculty Member of the Year,” honor, during an awards dinner, July 14, 2017, at the Gallup Building in Washington, D.C.

The annual awards program, sponsored by HBCU Digest, acknowledges and celebrates achievements at historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States.

“The purpose of the awards ceremony is to give our HBCUs an opportunity for national exposure in key areas of campus performance,” said Jarrett L. Carter Sr., founding editor of HBCU Digest.

The SUBR College of Nursing and Allied Health enjoys a long list of awards and achievements including being honored as the “2017 Nursing School of the Year, Graduate Degree Programs,” by the Louisiana State Nurses Association (LSNA) and Louisiana Nurses Foundation. This is the fourth time that Southern’s nursing program was chosen as Nursing School/Program of the Year by the LSNA. Southern was also selected as Nursing School of the Year in 2010, 2012, and 2015.

The SUBR College of Nursing and Allied Health was named “Best Nursing Program,” during the HBCU Awards, July 14, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The SU School of Nursing also won the same honor in 2015. Pictured with the award trophy is the College’s dean Janet S. Rami (center) with nursing professor Wanda Spurlock (left) and Sandra Brown professor and director of the Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.

“SUBR School of Nursing’s HBCU Award for Nursing Program of the Year serves as validation of the hard work of our faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Jacqueline Hill, chair of the BSN program, Dr. Sandra Brown and Dr. Wanda Spurlock leaders for the Nurse Practitioner and Doctorate in Nursing Practice Programs, and Dr. Cheryl Taylor for the PhD in Nursing Program, have provided the leadership in achieving our goals,” said Janet S. Rami, dean of the SUBR College of Nursing and Allied Health.

Established in 1986, Southern’s School of Nursing (SON) currently offers four degrees: the bachelors of science in nursing (BSN); the master of science in nursing (MSN) with a specialty in family health; the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with a major in nursing; and the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP).  Since 1986, Rami, has led the School in creating a pathway to excellence in the nursing and health care workforce. While the BSN program has produced more than 2000 RNs (85 percent African American) since its inception, the MSN program, which began in 1992, has produced more than 400 graduates; many of who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, with an average pass rate of 95 percent on the national certification exam (exceeding the national average).

The SON is the largest producer of African-American MSN graduates and the only producer of Ph.D. graduates in the state of Louisiana, with 40 graduates since its inception. These programs have fulfilled a significant role in expanding the advanced practice-nursing workforce with highly competent minority nurses. Further, the PhD program is a research-focused doctorate that prepares nurse scientists for education, service, and research. The graduate nursing program expanded in 2012 to fulfill its promise to build a stronger and more diverse advanced practiced registered nurses (APRN) workforce in Louisiana and has produced 11 DNP graduates since its inception and is currently pursuing its goal to advance evidence-based practice through rigorous scholarship and leadership to improve the health care of vulnerable populations. The College of Nursing and Allied Health has the largest enrollment among SUBR’s six colleges and the largest number of undergraduate and graduate completers.

Nationally recognized graduate faculty include four NLN Certified Nurse Educators, two fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (FAANs), a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Educators (ANEF), and a fellow of the National Gerontological Nursing Association, who all serve as faculty leaders and mentors in the graduate and undergraduate programs.  Additionally, two graduate faculty members currently serve as on-site evaluators for the NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA). In addition to faculty members maintaining specialty certifications, they hold leadership positions in local, state and national professional nursing organizations as well as board positions in nursing and healthcare organizations.

“We decided in the late 1980s that our School would be nationally recognized for its success in producing highly qualified nurses. To operationalize our vision we employed faculty who were leaders in the healthcare community. SUBR alumni who cheered us on and advised us to maintain our high standards supported us. The numerous state and national awards and recognitions we have received over the last several years stand as testimony to the potential of our university when we employ proven academic leadership principles over politics. We accepted the HBCU Award on behalf of all of our faculty, staff, and students and all SUBR alumni,” Rami added.


Cheryl Taylor, chairperson, Graduate Nursing Programs, and director, Office of Nursing Research, SUBR College of Nursing and Allied Health, was named “Female Faculty Member of the Year,” during the annual HBCU Awards dinner, July 14, 2017, at the Gallup Building in Washington, D.C.

Taylor was in attendance at the awards ceremony and accepted the nursing program award, and her individual recognition.

No stranger to the spotlight, Taylor, the Dr. Jewel and Dr. James Prestage Endowed Professor at SUBR, was recently selected as an ambassador for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR).

FNINR an independent nonprofit group that advocates for and advances nursing science in the name of promoting the health and wellbeing of all Americans, announced the selection of 15 Ambassadors to join the ranks of 15 others currently filling this role. Ambassadors are selected from a national pool of applicants based on their abilities to advance public, health professions, and policy-maker awareness of the critical research agenda linked to the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR).

“I accepted this national honor at the ceremony in Washington D.C. in memory of the late Dr. Jewel L. Prestage who graduated from Southern University in 1951, and became the first African-American woman in the United States to earn a PhD in political science from the University of Iowa. She was a master teacher, mentor, and one of many good teachers dedicated to the mission of HBCUs. I am only one of many precious HBCU ‘Jewels’ who live and love to teach and learn. I share this award with dedicated teachers and staff throughout the SU System. Thank you Southern University for being here for all of us. Thank you Dr. Jewel L. Prestage for making Southern University the place of your education and then your life’s work,” shared Taylor.

Taylor, also a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, was recently reappointed by the National League for Nursing (NLN) to the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) to serve a third term as NLN consultant. She was also elected in 2016 by the prestigious American Academy of Nursing to serve as a member of the Fellow Selection Committee. Taylor also serves as an AACN/NLN Jonas Scholar Mentor for three Ph.D. nursing students and was elected by the NLN membership to their National Strategic Planning Committee. At the statewide level, she is a member of the Louisiana Action Coalition Diversity Steering Committee and a member appointed by the Governor, of the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services Institutional Review Board.

Created in 2011, and crowning winners in the fields of leadership, arts, athletics, research, and community engagement, the HBCU Awards is the first national awards event to recognize the influence and impact of historically black colleges and universities on American culture, according to HBCU Digest.

Southern University had seven other finalists up for 2017 HBCU Awards: Southern University Human Jukebox, The Southern Digest student newspaper; the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, the Southern University National Alumni Federation, former student Lenard Tillery, student Perry White; and faculty member Moustapha Diack.

The HBCU Awards, presented by the Thurgood Marshal College Fund, was part of an HBCU Executive Media Training Summit, July 13 - 14, in Washington, DC.


Previous SU HBCU Award winners:


Southern University Marching Band
“Best HBCU Band of the Year”

Southern University Alumni Federation
“National Alumni Association of the Year”


Polite Stewart Jr.
“Male Student of the Year”

SUBR Men’s Basketball
“Men’s Team of the Year”


Southern University Marching Band
“Best Marching Band”

Dawson Odums (SUBR)
“Male Coach of the Year”

Dray Joseph (SUBR)
“Male Athlete of the Year”


SUBR College of Nursing and Allied Health
“Best Nursing Program”


Southern University Marching Band
“Best Marching Band”

Stephen McGuire
“Male Faculty Member of the Year’

SU Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration (LSC)
“Best Research Center”

Devon Gales
“Male Athlete of the Year”

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