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School of Nursing Launches Leadership Center for Nursing Education Research


School of Nursing, Founders Hall

The School of Nursing at Widener University announced the opening of the Widener Leadership Center for Nursing Education Research. Center staff seek to advance the science of nursing education by conducting rigorous educational and educational-clinical research.

According to School of Nursing Dean Laura Dzurec, “The Leadership Center for Nursing Education Research builds on the university’s longstanding commitment to excellence in nursing education research and the preparation of academic nurse educators through its clinical and education focused master’s and doctoral programs. Since 2013, the School of Nursing has been designated as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in the Science of Nursing Education.”

Nursing education programs are the most highly enrolled of all health professions in the United States, which is one of the reasons the faculty at Widener University believe it’s vital to develop a robust science of nursing education.

“The evidence base and methods of inquiry used in nursing education research is of prime importance to nursing students, faculty, and ultimately, to the health of individuals, families, and communities,” Dr. Darrell Spurlock, associate professor of nursing and director of the Leadership Center for Nursing Education Research, said.

“There is a strong connection between nurses' educational experiences and their ability to provide safe, high quality nursing care. We want to strengthen the science of nursing education so that nurses are optimally prepared to improve patient outcomes.”

The Center is supported by dedicated School of Nursing faculty members with a passion for innovation and research in nursing education. Faculty will provide expert research consulting services to constituents within the clinical and nursing education community, and offer faculty development for aspiring, new, and mid-career nursing education researchers. Faculty are seeking grant funding that directly supports such projects. They hope to offer intensive workshops, webinars, and eventually, a post-doctoral certificate program in nursing education research.

“The School of Nursing is already a leader in providing a unique professional nursing education in a challenging, scholarly, and supportive learning community,” Dzurec said. “Opening the center is an obvious next step for our faculty, who have demonstrated a sustained effort and passionate commitment to pedagogical research and evidence-based teaching practice.”

The Widener Leadership Center for Nursing Education Research supports the overall mission of the university to serve as a model for intellectual, scholarly and experiential work on leadership. “We are focusing on research in nursing education that builds on our faculty expertise,” Spurlock said. “We are a resource to the nursing education community.”

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses are in Chester and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. Visit the university website,