NLN/Elsevier HBCU Innovation in Technology Excellence program

Founded in 1893 as the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses, the National League for Nursing was the first nursing organization in the United States. The NLN is the only national organization that represents all levels of nursing education, from licensed practical nurses, to registered nurses, to advanced nurse practitioners to PhD prepared researchers and teachers. It offers faculty development programs, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual faculty members and 1,210 member schools.

Strengthening capacity building efforts within HBCUs in nursing

While many nurse educators come to higher education as experts in the art and science of nursing, they may not always be experts in the art and science of teaching and learning. Innovation in technology and teaching are increasingly becoming an essential tool for nurse educators in preparing students to provide safe and quality care in diverse healthcare settings. Technology today provides opportunities to think like a nurse, as novice nurses transition through their programs of study into professional practice. Engaging students in contextual learning using technology and dialogue shifts the focus from learners as doers of actions to learners as meaning makers. With this new nurse educator paradigm comes the challenge of delivering innovation in teaching excellence and the continuous development of online, virtual products to meet the needs of a contemporary generation of learners. This need is even greater in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Schools of nursing where resources for faculty development are often limited and the students they teach are from underrepresented populations. 


This program aims to provide nursing faculty in HBCUs and clinical preceptors in hospitals/health systems with the opportunity to enhance their coaching skills and facilitate student learning through innovative technology. It will form part of the NLN Center for Innovation in Education Excellence and will implement a course titled Coaching for Excellence in Nursing. This course includes e-learning modules that provide context for understanding nursing students’ challenges and how educators can help with the transition to professional practice.

Beneficiary group: Nursing students and faculty
Budget: $60,000 (pilot year)
Location: 15 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the US with nursing programs

  • Focus on technology user innovation through the launching of the NLN Coaching for Excellence in Nursing.
  • 3-month cohorts of 4 faculty will complete five e-learning modules and six video challenges. 3 cohorts per year.
  • E-learning modules that provides context for understanding nursing student challenges and how educators can help with the transition to professional practice.

At the completion of each quarter, the NLN will conduct separate clinical preceptor, faculty and student focus groups to obtain qualitative data on the experience. Quantitative data will be gathered through surveys as part of the Coaching for Excellence curriculum evaluation process. Students within the eight HBCUs Schools of Nursing working with the faculty will complete the NLN Educational Practices Questionnaire. This questionnaire measures whether educational practices (e.g. active learning, collaboration, diverse ways of learning, and high expectations) are present in the classroom and clinical interactions. These data will be used to enhance the coaching course as well as evaluate outcomes of student success and enhancement of faculty and clinical preceptors’ skills.

Read more about the partnership

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