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SU nursing grad program named ‘School of the Year’

The Southern University School of Nursing and Allied Health’s Graduate Nursing Program was recently honored as the “2017 Nursing School of the Year, Graduate Degree Programs,” by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation, Saturday, April 4, 2017, at the annual Nightingale Awards Gala, the “Academy Awards” of Nursing and Healthcare.

This 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.

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).  As the dean of the School of Nursing since 1986, Janet S. Rami, Ph.D., RN, has led the school in creating a pathway to excellence in the nursing and health care workforce.  While the BSN program has produced over 2000 RNs (85 percent African American) since its inception, the MSN program, which began in 1992, has produced more than 400 graduates; many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, with an average pass rate of 95 percent on the national certification exam (exceeding the national average).

“This award validates the superior quality of nursing education at Southern University and the dedication of the nursing faculty,” said Rami.

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.

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.  This is the fourth time that Southern’s Nursing program has been chosen as Nursing School/Program of the Year. Southern was also selected as Nursing School of the Year in 2010, 2012, and 2015.  Cheryl Taylor, PhD, RN, FAAN is the chairperson of the Graduate Nursing Programs and Sandra Brown, DNS, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE, ANEF, serves as coordinator of the MSN and DNP programs.