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March 16, 2022  |  XXVI, Issue Number 5

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It’s mid-March, colleagues, and signs of spring are everywhere. With COVID-19 numbers down, I imagine we are all looking to the future with a renewed sense of optimism and purpose. COVID-19 remains a danger, however – even former President Obama tested positive recently – and we must continue to press for vaccinations and boosters.

And, sadly, we are witnessing a huge humanitarian crisis with the war in Ukraine. Even a maternity hospital was bombed last week. I will add my voice to the call for contributions to assist those in need. Please give generously and let us hope that this senseless war will come to an end as we begin to help the Ukrainian people rebuild their lives.

Celebrating Women’s History & Nursing Education

At home we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month and nursing, something that is especially meaningful during 2022, the Year of the Nurse Educator. We honor the historical figures who professionalized nursing and established standards for education, forming the organizations that came together as the National League for Nursing. These women had vision and exercised leadership when that was hardly a woman’s role, and they are inextricably linked to the history of women in America. Their story is told on the NLN website, which links to our expanding archives at the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.

When you have some time, I hope you will peruse our archives and view video interviews with some of nursing education’s luminaries. If you don’t have time for that, you can listen to our Saga podcasts while exercising! By the way, in linking women’s history and the history of nursing education, I also want to welcome our male colleagues – you came to our profession later than women, but I am so glad you are with us. I only wish there were more of you.
Honoring Certified Nurses

One especially significant day in March is the 19th, Certified Nurses Day and the birthday of Dr. Margretta "Gretta" Madden Styles, a great leader and educator who pioneered the development and implementation of standards and credentials for nurses. A driving force behind the creation of the American Nurses Credentialing Center, Dr. Styles advanced nurse certification services and programs across the US and spearheaded the definitive work of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) on nursing regulation. She served as ICN president in the 1990s.


Certified Nurses Day is an annual day of recognition for and by health care leaders dedicated to nursing professionalism, excellence, recognition, and service. We created the NLN Certification Program in 2005 to recognize education as a specialty area of practice with certification a demonstration of excellence and expertise in this practice specialty. We expanded our program to include academic certified clinical nurse educators and are proud of all of you who use the credentials CNE and CNEcl.

Now we are expanding our program once again, this time along the framework of the Benner model, with three exams that demonstrate the meeting of nurse educator competencies from “novice to expert.” We are in the process of pilot testing our new novice certification exam. Data from the pilot testing will be used to set the passing score, and we anticipate the official launch by June 1. Let me thank the many of you who registered for the pilot exam and are helping us with this phase of certification development. If you have not yet taken the exam, let me wish you good luck!

Since the inception of the NLN Certification Program, more than 12,000 nurse educators – you and your colleagues – have achieved certification, including 500 academic clinical nurse educators. Becoming certified during the Year of the Nurse Educator is a significant way to communicate your pride in our profession.

Last year the NLN Certification Program established the Star Award as an annual recognition award of individuals, programs, or organizations that clearly recognize and exemplify the pursuit of excellence and the advancement of certification. In 2021, the Star Award was given to Trinitas School of Nursing in New Jersey, an NLN Center of Excellence, for outstanding support of nurse educator certification. Nomination applications will be accepted from April 1 to May 31. Visit our new website and the Certification Sentinel for more about the NLN Certification Program.

Speaking of awards, do you know exceptional individuals who improve the lives of others? Nominate them for a 2022 NLN Award. Nominations are now being accepted.
Upcoming Deadlines

Let me close with some important dates and deadlines. The deadline to apply for an NLN Nursing Education Research Grant has been extended to March 25. Apply now if your research demonstrates rigor and innovative approaches to advance the field of nursing education research through science and technology.


The Social Determinants of Health & Social Change Leadership Academy applications are due April 30. Applications for NLN Scholarships are due May 26. And applications for the first of our two 2022 Scholarly Writing Retreats are due May 13. The first retreat takes place in person and will be led by Dr. Marilyn Oermann. You have more time to apply for the virtual fall retreat, led by Dr. Leslie Nicoll – those applications are due September 9.

And finally, and most importantly – let me remind you that none of the work we do to promote excellence in nursing education is possible without your support. When your school renews its agency membership, your entire faculty will remain connected to our valuable network of nearly 45,000 members representing nursing education programs across higher education and health care. All of you can take advantage of our member benefits and continue to expand your professional knowledge and stay up-to-date on best practices. Active membership in the NLN is especially critical during the Year of the Nurse Educator.

Thank you as always for your support of the National League for Nursing. We are proud to have you with us. I am proud to be with you.

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