UNLV's School of Nursing was one of just 10 programs nationwide named a 2019 Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing, the leading professional organization for nurse educators.
The university was recognized for sustained excellence in student learning and professional development in nursing and becomes the first institution in Nevada to earn the distinction.
"This is a testament to the teaching excellence, dedication, and innovation that our faculty demonstrate daily," said Angela Amar, dean and professor of nursing at UNLV. "We're committed to delivering innovative educational experiences that transform student learning and advance the health of Nevada's citizens."
The nursing profession is growing at a fast pace, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 15 percent growth in employment opportunities for registered nurses through 2026. Several factors are driving that growth, including the country's aging population and the need to replace retiring health care workers.
And UNLV is on the front lines.
The UNLV School of Nursing is expanding its competitive undergraduate program. Starting this fall, a total of 216 students will be accepted annually over three cohorts — an increase of 50 percent since fall 2017. The rigorous year-round undergraduate curriculum can be completed in just 16 months and speeds the transition of bachelor’s-prepared (BSN) graduates into an in-demand nursing workforce.
A signature piece of the undergraduate curriculum occurs at the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas, a 31,000-square-foot innovative educational facility where students learn and practice their skills through simulated scenarios with realistic manikins, patient actors, and surgical labs.
"Centers of Excellence help raise the bar for all nursing programs by role modeling visionary leadership and environments of inclusive excellence," said Beverly Malone, CEO of the National League for Nursing. "These programs will nurture the next generation of a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community."
Earlier this year, UNLV was awarded a $900,000 grant from the Governor's Office of Economic Development to develop a series of certificates for nurses targeting areas of need in the state, including specialty care, clinical research, and teaching. The school currently offers the state's only Ph.D. in nursing, and its online and overall graduate programs are ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report.
"This designation is public recognition and validation of our excellence in nursing education, and we look forward to continuing to find new and innovative ways to educate future nurse leaders who will serve Nevada and beyond," said UNLV nursing professor Jessica Doolen.
Each year since 2004, the National League for Nursing has recognized nursing schools nationwide that demonstrate excellence in faculty development, nursing education research, student learning and professional development. UNLV joins a cadre of top national programs, including Duke University, Johns Hopkins, and Vanderbilt as 2019 honorees.