A vote today by the Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees unsuspended the Master of Science in nursing degree with a major as nurse educator. This move marked achievement of yet another goal in the School of Nursing toward transformation of its program.
In 2007, the bachelor of science in nursing degree had its accreditation placed on probation because of its graduates needed to improve their NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse) scores, said Dr. Anne Nolan, director of the School of Nursing. All programs in the College of Health Professions and Social Work are accredited by outside bodies, Nolan explained. For example, the nursing program has approval from both the Florida Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), she said.
In response to the probation, the School of Nursing chose to suspend its nursing education master’s degree temporarily so it could focus its resources on increasing students’ NCLEX-RN scores. By 2012, FGCU’s nursing undergraduates ranked third in the state on the national exam¸ with a first-time pass rate of 98.4 percent, Nolan said. Additionally, in October 2012, the nurse anesthesia master’s program received a 10-year accreditation, the highest possible, from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, which also cited the program for excellence.
Because of these achievements, as well as changes in the field of nursing wherein the education requirements for the current nurse practitioner and nurse anesthetist degrees will move from master’s to doctoral level within the next five to ten years, the timing seemed appropriate to bring back the nurse educator master’s degree. The degree allows the recipient to teach in hospitals as well as to teach clinical components of university programs under professors with doctorates.
“Our plans are that our nurse educators will get teaching experience here in our own program,” Nolan said. “We may even grow some of our own faculty.”
University Provost Toll said, regarding bringing back the degree at this time, “The interest level from students is high . . . very importantly, several hospitals in our service area are considering seeking magnate status recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and to achieve this status, their RNs will have to demonstrate higher level of educational achievement.”
Local developer offers University letter of intent for land donation in conjunction with development Private Equity Group, LLC, gave an informational presentation to the Board of Trustees proposing a partnership with the University regarding the development of three parcels of land adjoining or close to the campus.
The three parcels total over 5,000 acres of former mining land that the developers purchased from the Alico, Inc. The developers offered to donate 640 acres of land to FGCU via the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Inc. as part of the partnership.
Private Equity Group provided a non-binding letter of intent regarding the proposed donation.