Allen College Faculty Member Earns National Certification

September 14, 2009
Allen College has announced that Kay Froehner has earned the designation Certified Nurse Educator (CNEcm) after meeting strict eligibility criteria and successfully completing a rigorous certification examination developed and administered by the National League for Nursing. Professor Froehner is the seventh member of Allen College’s nursing faculty to earn this distinction. As recently as March 2009, only eighteen Iowa nurses had achieved this distinction.

Ms. Froehner, an associate professor of nursing, completed her undergraduate nursing degree at Winona State University and earned master’s degrees in education and nursing from the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa respectively. She has been a member of the Allen College faculty since 1992.

The NLN’s Academic Nurse Educator Certification (ANEC) Program has conferred new visibility and stature upon the academic nursing community, 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. And now nurse educators can take even greater pride in the credential, knowing it carries national accreditation,” she commented. In years to come, she added, 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*:

• 32 percent hold doctoral degrees; the remainder master’s degrees

• 45 percent teach in baccalaureate or higher degree programs; 39.5 percent in associate degree programs; 9.5 percent in diploma programs; and 5.4 percent in practical nursing programs

• 58 percent hold the rank of assistant professor or higher including: full professors, 15 percent; associate professors, 18.6 percent; and assistant professors, 24.7 percent.

• 34 percent have more than 15 years experience as academic nurse educators. With nearly half (46 percent) of nurse faculty projected to retire within the next decade and nearly three-quarters (72 percent) within 15 years, replacing them is of grave concern, noted NLN president Dr. Elaine Tagliareni. “We must encourage more nurse faculty to prepare for certification as nurse educators so that our nursing schools can be staffed by academicians of the highest caliber. Only in this way can excellence in nursing education be ensured for another generation.”

In 2008, 662 nurse educators were awarded the CNE credential. Since the unveiling of the program in fall 2005, 1,552 nurse educators representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia have become CNEs.

*Demographic data reflects those who took the examination 9/28/05 through 3/31/09.
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