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Division of Nursing earns state award for best undergraduate program

Louisiana Tech University’s Division of Nursing has been tabbed as the state’s top undergraduate degree program.

The award was presented during the 16th Annual Nightingale Awards Gala honoring excellence in nursing, held on April 1 at the at L’Auberge Hotel in Baton Rouge. Sponsored by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation and Louisiana State Nurses Association (LSNA), the gala saw Louisiana Tech’s Division of Nursing honored as the Nursing School of the Year for Undergraduate Degree Programs.

Front L-R: Deborah Spann, Dr. Donna Hood; Back L-R: Nancy Darland, Caleb Faul, Norlyn Hyde.

The award winner was determined by a panel of judges composed of nursing leaders from nine states. Nominations addressed the program’s commitment to selecting, retaining and educating future nurses, innovation in nursing education, National Council Licensure Examination first-time pass rates for the past two years, and faculty and student involvement in their professional organizations.

“It is such an honor to receive this recognition at the state level,” said Donna Hood, director of Louisiana Tech’s Division of Nursing. “I am so proud of the excellent work of our faculty and students who go above and beyond what is required. This ongoing effort in retention, innovation and involvement prepares excellent nurses who are making a difference in healthcare throughout our region and even around the world.”

Louisiana Tech’s Division of Nursing was represented by Hood; Nancy Darland, professor; Norlyn Hyde, instructor and also LSNA President; and current student Caleb Faul, President of Louisiana Association of Student Nurses.

Darland was the recipient of the award for Outstanding Community Achievement by a Registered Nurse.

“Nancy Darland does a phenomenal job taking her passion for nursing care of women and children and linking it with needs across the state,” Hood said. “Whether it is through her work with March of Dimes promoting healthy babies or through support of St. Jude’s work addressing childhood cancer, Mrs. Darland is a true champion. She continues to devote additional time and effort in her work with professional nursing organizations and sets an amazing example for our students.”

Louisiana Tech nursing alum Deborah Spann, RN-BC, CEN Tri-Regional Coordinator for Louisiana Emergency Response Network, received the award for Registered Nurse of the Year at the gala.

“For a Louisiana Tech nursing alum to be selected as the Registered Nurse of the Year out of 33,000-plus registered nurses in the state of Louisiana is so exciting,” Hood said. “Deb Spann is an excellent example of the caliber of nurses who graduate from our program. She demonstrates excellence as a lifelong learner and is a passionate nurse leader. Her amazing work with emergency nurses across the state impacts the care of us all.”

Written by T. Scott Boatright – boat@latech.edu