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Ancilla Faculty Named Certified Nurse Educator

  02/07/14 Ancilla College Nursing Program faculty member Patricia Bawcum has earned the designation Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) after meeting strict eligibility criteria and successfully completing a rigorous certification examination developed and administered by the National League for Nursing.

Ms. Bawcum RN, MSN, CNE, is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Ancilla College. Bawcum received her diploma in nursing from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing (Lafayette, Indiana) and earned her BSN from Indiana University of South Bend and her MSN from Valparaiso University.

Ms. Bawcum, from Winamac, has held the positions of Director of Maternal-Child Services and Director of Community Health Services at St. Joseph Hospital in Mishawaka, Indiana, Director of Nursing at the Catherine Kasper Life Center in Donaldson, Indiana, consultant for Health Management Associates and a Legal Nurse Consultant.

“The NLN’s Academic Nurse Educator Certification program has conferred new visibility and stature upon the academic nursing community that is long overdue,” said Dr. Beverly Malone, CEO of the NLN.

“Through the certification program, we have made clear to the ranks of higher education that the role of nurse educator is an advanced professional practice discipline with a defined practice setting and demonstrable standards of excellence,” Dr. Malone said. 

Dr. Malone added, “In years to come, it is hoped that certified nurse educators will command higher salaries and be first in line for promotions and tenure.”

The newly certified nurse educators reflect the spectrum of their academic colleagues in the United States: As of August, 2012, there are 3,415 certified nursing educators in the continental United States. Many academic nursing programs in colleges and university settings have recognized the importance of the certification and encourage all eligible nursing faculty to become certified.

With nearly half (42.8 percent) of nurse faculty projected to retire within the next decade and nearly three-quarters (69.7 percent) within 15 years, replacing them is of grave concern, to nursing and nursing education.

“Certification in any field is a mark of professionalism, but for academic nurse educators it establishes nursing education as a specialty area of practice,” said Professor Ann Fitzgerald, director of the college’s division of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“It communicates to students, peers, and the academic and health care communities that the highest standards of excellence are being met. By becoming credentialed as a Certified Nurse Educator, Pat is being recognized as a leader and a role model,” Fitzgerald said. 

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 37,000 individual and more than 1,200 institutional members comprising nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education and health care organizations.