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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

Three Nursing Faculty are now Certified Nurse Educators

Certified Nurse Educators UW School of Nursing: Holly Miller, Lori Liebl, Rachel Thomas

Nursing students aren’t the only ones taking tests...

During a time of year when we expect articles about busy students and test-taking, it is unusual to hear about faculty taking tests. But UW Nursing faculty member Lori Liebl, PhD, RN, is happy to spread the news that she gets to add some letters to her credentials ("CNE"), recently passing what she says was a “really tough test” – the national nurse educator certification exam.  

About four years ago faculty member Holly Miller, MS, RN, CNE, was the first of the UW nursing faculty to pursue and acquire the certification. Then this summer, BRAND faculty member Rachel Thomas, MSN, RN, CNE, CEN, SANE-A, became certified as well. Miller says, “We are getting more and more interest among the faculty in pursuing the certification, which is exciting.” Liebl agrees and adds, “It is also nice to see that we are all teaching in different programs, but with the same goal—excellence in teaching.” Miller teaches in the on-campus traditional “Basic BSN” Program; Thomas in the accelerated second-bachelor’s “BRAND” Program; and Liebl teaches in the graduate nursing program.

Miller will be up for renewal soon, and that process is almost as daunting as the original certification. She is held to at least 5 of the 8 core competencies, which include qualifying activities and renewal credits in the areas of faculty development (seminars, workshops, conferences, scholarship), publications, presentations, leadership activities, community service activities, innovative teaching/learning activities, and college/university courses. This is a laborious undertaking for faculty who are already extremely busy.

The value of the certification…

Stated as follows from the National League for Nursing web site:

“Certification in any field is a mark of professionalism. For academic nurse educators, it establishes nursing education as a specialty area of practice and creates a means for faculty to demonstrate their expertise in this role. It communicates to students, peers, and the academic and health care communities that the highest standards of excellence are being met. By becoming credentialed as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), you serve as a leader and a role model.”

The value of the certification…

as stated by Liebl, Miller, and Thomas:

  • Liebl:

    “Obtaining this certification has been a personal and professional goal since I began teaching over 6 years ago. I have always viewed this certification as a mark of excellence, and as a professional, I strive to deliver the highest standard of excellence. This certification helps demonstrate my level of knowledge, skills, ability, and commitment to being an excellent nurse educator. Obtaining the certification will not directly change how I teach; however, it may change how my students, peers, and others in the health care community perceive me as a nurse educator. By holding this certification, I hope to be held to a higher standard of excellence, and in turn, increase the standards in my surroundings.”

  • Miller:

    “I had been looking for quite some time for a certification exam in an area in which I met the qualifications. I was excited when the CNE certification came along in 2009. After teaching for 23 years, I was ready to take on the challenge, and I successfully took the CNE certification exam in June of 2011. I wanted to get the certification because I thought it was important for my professional development. I learned a lot in the process of studying and taking the exam. In fact, the more I learned, the more I realized that I needed to learn more! I guess that is what lifelong learning is all about!! I think the experience helped in giving me the knowledge, skills, and abilities to improve my role as a nurse educator. It also allowed me the opportunity to see nursing education through different lenses.”

  • Thomas:

    “I sought nurse educator certification to establish my commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth as an educator. Certification provides opportunities to collaborate with other nurse educators nationwide and endless access to evidence-based databases and continuing education. My approach to teaching at this point in time will not likely change; however, as the nursing profession evolves and the needs of students change, the most current evidence-based information and learning opportunities provided through certification will support how my teaching methodologies could evolve to meet student needs. I would certainly recommend certification to any and all nurse educators. Certification acknowledges an advanced knowledge base in nursing education and reflects a commitment to excellence in teaching and nursing. The criteria to maintain certification is quite demanding, yet well worth the efforts considering the overall outcome, which is to promote an advanced knowledge and skills set to future nurses who are expected to provide excellent nursing care to patients.”

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Article Dated 2015-12-16


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