Recognition by the National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education is designed to distinguish schools that demonstrate sustained, evidence-based, and substantive innovation, conduct ongoing research to document the effectiveness of such innovation, set high standards for themselves and are committed to continuous quality improvement.

This prestigious honor was established in 2004 to recognize nursing programs that demonstrate the attainment of high quality standards in student learning and professional development, development of faculty expertise in pedagogy or advancement of the science of nursing education.

USD’s Department of Nursing is one of only seven accredited nursing programs in the United States, or the top half percent, to receive a distinction of excellence since 2004. There are 1,480 accredited nursing programs in the country.

Center of Excellence designation is granted for a three-year period. During the last of those 3 years, the program completes the entire designation process to achieve a re-designation by the NLN Board of Governors. Continuation of designation as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education is not automatic.

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