College of Nursing
A Year of Innovation and Impact

Teaching: UF College of Nursing Earns ‘Shining Star’ Recognizing Efforts to Advance Nursing Education

The UF College of Nursing is the recipient of the National League for Nursing’s 2022 Certification Star Award: Honoring the Pursuit of Excellence and Advancement of the Nurse Educator Certification. Half of the college’s clinical track faculty members have obtained certification as National League for Nursing Certified Nurse Educators, or C.N.E., and this award recognizes the college’s integrated effort to create an academic environment to transform and advance nursing education. Teaching excellence remains a strategic priority among all faculty at the College of Nursing through a commitment to continuous quality improvement.

The C.N.E. credential is considered a mark of distinction for nursing faculty, communicating to students, peers and the academic and health care communities that the highest standards of excellence are being met. With a high number of C.N.E.-credentialed faculty, nursing students have excellent learning and graduate outcomes, such as high pass rates, satisfaction scores and employment rates for graduates.

The Star Award was presented to the college Sept. 28 during the National League For Nursing’s Education Summit in Las Vegas.

Research: UF College of Nursing, UF Health Shands Nursing Launch New Program to Fund Nursing Research and Innovation

From developing new ways to communicate with patients to testing treatment protocols or running research trials in the hospital, nurses are known for coming up with solutions for hard-to-solve problems.

Thanks to a collaboration between the University of Florida College of Nursing and UF Health Shands Nursing, nurses have a new opportunity to develop those innovations and address the complex challenges facing the health care system today.

Through an academic-practice partnership, funding has been awarded to teams of UF Health nurses and college faculty. These funds will be used to support their efforts to develop research projects they hope will transform the nursing profession and how health care is delivered.

“Nurses are not just caregivers; we are scientists as well,” said Anna McDaniel, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, College of Nursing dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Chair. “We are thrilled to join with our nursing colleagues in the hospital system to combine the state-of-the-art, clinical knowledge of practicing nurses with the research insights of nursing faculty to create successful, collaborative projects and broaden our professional knowledge base.”

Each project team includes multiple principal investigators — at least one from the College of Nursing and one from UF Health Shands Nursing — as well as co-investigators and consultants who all contribute expertise. Eight teams, covering topics like COVID-19 discoveries, stroke care and nurse recruitment and retention, have been selected to receive funding.

The collaboration began after College of Nursing faculty and UF Health nursing staff devised a plan to help nurses receive greater support for projects originating from the bedside. UF Health’s standards for patient care call for nurses in leadership roles to develop self-directed projects, but this initiative marks the first-time clinicians at all levels have access to a formal program for securing funded research — as well as a direct partnership with college faculty members.

Clinical: UF College of Nursing and UF Health Nursing Honored for Academic Partnership

In recognition of their exceptional academic nursing partnership, the UF College of Nursing and UF Health Nursing have been selected to receive the New Era for Academic Nursing Award by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, or AACN. The College of Nursing and UF Health were recognized for their innovative and sustained relationship that meets the AACN’s recommendation to “Embrace a New Vision of Academic Nursing.”

The academic nursing partnership between the college and leadership at UF Health Nursing is an innovative and sustained relationship that exemplifies collaboration and commitment across practice, research and education. Examples of innovation include the Academic Partnership Unit program at the UF Health Jacksonville campus, which is an innovative educational model for second-degree students that effectively combines limited faculty resources and practicing nurses’ expertise.

Other examples of the commitment between the college and UF Health include the Nurse Sensitive Indicators initiative, which created a practical application for B.S.N. students to gain knowledge of and competence in quality, safety and efficacy for prevention. The newly launched joint demonstration projects is yet another example. Through these yearlong projects, UF Health nurses and UF College of Nursing faculty are collaborating on efforts to design and evaluate improved approaches to health care access and delivery.

This national award recognizes AACN member institutions that have successfully implemented recommended strategies from AACN’s report “Advancing Healthcare Transformation: A New Era for Academic Nursing.” Anna McDaniel, College of Nursing dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Chair, and Irene Alexaitis, UF Health vice president of nursing and patient services, were presented with the award during the AACN Academic Nursing Leadership Conference on Oct. 24 in Washington, D.C.

Inclusive Excellence: New Partnership Allows Historically Black University Students a Pathway to Earn UF Nursing Degree

Students from a historically Black university in Florida now have a dedicated pathway to earn a bachelor of science in nursing, or B.S.N., degree from the state’s top-ranked nursing program.

On Oct. 12, Edward Waters University and the University of Florida College of Nursing entered into an agreement that allows up to five students from the state’s first historically Black college or university, or HBCU, to join the UF College of Nursing’s Accelerated B.S.N. program at the UF Health Jacksonville campus.

EWU does not have a nursing program, and this partnership gives qualified biological sciences majors who are interested in a nursing career the option to pursue a nursing degree at UF’s Jacksonville campus, just minutes from the EWU campus. This is the first partnership between an HBCU and the UF College of Nursing.

As the nation faces a critical nursing shortage, the UF College of Nursing has taken steps to grow the number of nurses with bachelor’s degrees by increasing enrollment at both the Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses. In Jacksonville, enrollment in the Accelerated B.S.N. program is expected to double by 2025 — from 40 to 80 students. The partnership will promote access to nursing education to highly qualified, underrepresented students while increasing the state’s nursing workforce.

The Accelerated B.S.N. program is designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in another field to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The selected EWU students would take their prerequisite courses at EWU, followed by the rest of the required courses at the UF Health Jacksonville campus.

“As president and on behalf of Florida’s first HBCU, we are tremendously excited to enter this historic and incredibly impactful partnership with the University of Florida’s College of Nursing,” said Edward Waters University president and CEO, A. Zachary Faison Jr., J.D. “We believe that this first-of-its-kind focused academic and health-related collaborative initiative between EWU and UF will operate to positively address our state’s growing need for more nursing and health care professionals overall and support the increasing promulgation of the same, particularly amongst African-Americans and other communities of color.”

The state’s PIPELINE funding is helping expand enrollment at the College of Nursing’s Jacksonville and Gainesville campuses, as well as provide scholarships for EWU students with financial need. Under the program, UF will receive $3.6 million to increase enrollment across all programs, increase faculty numbers, provide student scholarships and more.

“We’re very pleased to partner with Edward Waters University to provide a pathway for under-represented students to earn a UF nursing degree and enter the nursing profession,” said former UF President Kent Fuchs. “Through this shared effort, we will help to improve health care through addressing a critical need for more Black nurses.”